South Australia was the first Australian state to enact deposit legislation. As other states follow suit with proposed deposit refund systems, this system is commonly used as their model.
|Law Summary||Environment Protection Act 1993, Part 8, Division 2: Beverage Containers. Commonly known as CONTAINER DEPOSIT LEGISLATION (CDL) sets up a deposit-refund system to Reduce beverage litter, achieve higher resource recovery rates, and educate the community to recycle.|
|Date Implemented||Deposit legislation implemented in 1975. Integrated with Environment Protection Act in 1993|
|Containers Covered||Most beverage containers are covered except some large containers for certain beverages, listed below|
All beverages except: wine in glass bottles, casks, and sachets; plain milk and flavored milk in containers 1Litre or more, and 'pure' fruit juice in containers 1Litre or more
|Amount of Deposit||
|Fees and Taxes||--|
Total Return Rate: 79.9%
Liquid Paperboard 67.4%
How South Australia's Deposit System Works
The Recyclers of South Australia have put together a detailed chart on their website explaining the steps in the deposit-return process. This is a duplicate version.
|Wholesaler supplies to retailers. The 10 cent deposit and an agreed handling fee is included in the wholesale price of the beverage.||
The deposit and handling fee is retained by the beverage filler or their agent who operates as the collection co-ordinator. This is held until the deposit containers are returned to them to be recycled.
|Supply consumers. The 10 cent deposit and handling fee is included in the retail price paid by the consumer for the beverage.|
|Return deposit containers to recycling depot for full payment, 10 cent deposit.|
Sort the containers by material and responsible agent, ie. Glass, aluminium, PET, into containers for return to the collection co-ordinators.
Marine Stores Pty Ltd
Lion Nathan / SA Brewing and Cooper products
Cans - Back to Marine Stores Pty Ltd
Cans - Back to Visy Recycling (Can Co-ordinator)
Cans, PET, liquid paperboard , other plastics and steel cans back to Statewide Recycling the collection co-ordinator.
Once containers are sorted, they are sent back to the collection co-ordinator, agent for the recycling of material and auditing.
Collection co-ordinators are:
|Collection co-ordinators pay the Recycling depot back the 10 cent deposits which they paid out to the consumer in step 3, plus an agreed handling fee.|
92% of South Australians support their Container Deposit Legislation. The 2003 Report, "Community awareness and acceptance of Container Deposit Legislation" [PDF,62kb] provides more details on what South Australians know and think of the CDL.
In 2008, the deposit/refund amount was changed to 10¢ per container, regardless of "Category" (Previously it had been 10¢ for Category A and 5¢ for Category B). According to the South Australia EPA, "The State Government has increased the deposit amount on beverage containers to encourage more South Australians to recycle. By increasing the incentive to recycle, less litter will be seen on our streets and less waste will be sent to landfill."
The Northern Territory was the second Australian territory to enact a deposit law, which was modeled on the South Australia law. The two territories signed an agreement in 2011 to align their container deposit schemes. The agreement also addresses the issues of minimizing border fraud and increasing recovery and recycling while reducing litter.
1. Container Deposit Legislation (CDL) in South Australia, http://www.hotkey.net.au/~gargoyle/CDL/AroundTheWorld/Australia/SA/index.html.
2. Container Deposit Legislation (CDL) in South Australia, http://www.hotkey.net.au/~gargoyle/CDL/AroundTheWorld/Australia/SA/index.html.
3. Recyclers of South Australia, http://www.recyclesa.com.au/
4. Andrea Woods, Advisor, Container Deposit Legislation, Environment Protection Authority