Public thirst for Cash for Containers leads governments into voter danger

Press release - 30 April, 2014
The Boomerang Alliance, a coalition of 28 environment groups, says the continued lack of action at a national or state level on cash for containers after a meeting of Environment Ministers on Tuesday, is setting the scene for a ‘Fail’ come election time in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

The Boomerang Alliance, a coalition of 28 environment groups, says the continued lack of action at a national or state level on cash for containers after a meeting of Environment Ministers on Tuesday, is setting the scene for a ‘Fail’ come election time in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

Mr Reece Turner Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific said:

“State governments, including the new NSW Premier, have missed a golden opportunity to satisfy the 84 per cent of voters who support a 10 cent bottle and can recycling scheme.

“There will be no votes in making Coca-Cola Amatil happy. Their arguments against a scheme which has been successful in over 40 jurisdictions around the world are unfounded and fabricated.”

Chairman of Clean Up Australia and former Australian of the Year Mr Ian Kiernan AO said:

“This is not the time for Ministers to turn their backs on more than 3,000 new jobs, $281 million of private capital investment, or $95 million a year growth in the resource recovery sector. Their communities expect more.

“What is needed is a broad spectrum approach and ignoring the benefits of an incentive based refund scheme is negligent.

“By introducing this simple but effective scheme we could double recycling rates across the country.

“The people of the Eastern states are telling us they support a refund scheme. 90% of Queenslanders are in favour – and yet their Premier is ignoring their strong message. His preferred option of public place recycling will not rid our parks, beaches, bushland, waterways and roadsides of bottles and cans."

Convenor of the Boomerang Alliance and CEO of the Total Environment Centre Mr Jeff Angel said:

“People around Australia are sick of waiting for this proven cure for the plastic bottles and cans they see littering their streets, parks, rivers and beaches. This issue affects all people of all ages and political persuasion.

“The recent Northern Territory cash for containers scheme, which Coke and Lion fought in court, is becoming a great success. The latest figures show a 45 per cent return rate of bottles and cans, thirteen times higher from the 3.5% return rate prior to the scheme’s establishment.

“The Northern Territory scheme has stimulated the opening of a major bulk reverse vending machine depot, particularly aimed at the poorly performing commercial and hotel sector. This facility is receiving approximately 200,000 beverage containers a day. New sustainable jobs have also been created.”

For further information and to arrange interviews:
Alison Orme Media Greenpeace Australia Pacific 0432 332 104

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