Sydney, 7 Aug 2013: Environment and community groups from around Australia today congratulated the Northern Territory, state and federal governments for working together to reinstate the Northern Territory’s successful cash for containers program, after Coca Cola, Lion and Schweppes took it to court and won last year.
“This is a great victory for the Northern Territory government and community and means drink companies like Coca Cola and Schweppes, can no longer leave the multi-million bill for collecting litter and recycling their containers to taxpayers, councils and local communities,” said Greenpeace Communications Manager James Lorenz.
National convenor for the Boomerang Alliance of 27 environment groups, Jeff Angel said: “It’s now time for state and federal governments to stand up to Coke and the big drink companies by introducing a cash for containers scheme nationally or at individual state level. There is enormous public support.”
Clean Up Australia Chairman and founder Ian Kiernan AO said a national container deposit scheme would double Australia’s recycling rate and clean up our beaches, rivers and parks.
“Beverage related rubbish makes up around 40 per cent of rubbish removed by our volunteers on Clean Up Australia Day,” said Mr Kiernan.
In order to void the Coca Cola court win the Federal Executive Council (ExCo) ratified an arrangement on Monday that made the Northern Territory cash for containers scheme exempt from the operation of the Commonwealth’s Mutual Recognition Act. This involved every State and Territory and lastly the Commonwealth gazetting a regulation under that Act.
In the year since the Northern Territory’s 10 cent deposit on bottles and cans began operating it has trebled recycling rates to 67 per cent. It has also brought new investment and jobs.
The Northern Territory joined South Australia which has had a cash refund on bottles and cans for 30 years and has an 83 per cent recycling rate, double the national average.
Every year in Australia 8 billion bottles and cans are littered or go to landfill.
Local councils across Australia could save up to $183 million per year in recycling costs if a national cash for containers scheme was introduced, according to a study by the Local Government NSW.
The recycling industry says a national cash for containers scheme would bring $500 million in investment and 3,500 new jobs.
For further information contact: James Lorenz 0400376021 02-92360312; Jeff Angel 02 9211 5022 or 0418273773 or Ian Kiernan 0418232288