The ACT will establish a container deposit scheme (CDS) in early 2018. Consumers will be able to return eligible beverage containers to designated drop-off points and receive a 10 cent refund for each container.
The ACT Legislative Assembly passed the bill to amend the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Act 2016 on 31 October 2017.
The relevant Minister will have the power to enter into binding agreements with a Scheme Coordinator and a Network Operator who will run the ACT CDS.
The Scheme Coordinator will be responsible for managing financial and material flow data, contracts, payments, invoicing and auditing. The Scheme Coordinator is also responsible for delivery of a payment system to enable consumers to claim container refunds.
The Network Operator will be responsible for the logistical management of containers within the ACT. This includes establishing and managing a network of collection points which they can establish directly or by entering into agreements with collection point operators. Examples of collection points include depots, shop fronts and reverse vending machines.
Beverage suppliers will be required to have beverages sold in eligible containers licenced by the ACT Government, and eligible containers will be required to display the CDS symbol when they are sold.
Beverage suppliers will enter into agreements with the Scheme Coordinator to provide funding to support the operation of the CDS. This funding consists of two components; the 10 cent per container deposits and what are called handling fees. It is the handling fees that fund the various components of the CDS, including the collection point infrastructure and operations (including staff), and the payment and data collection system.
Beverage suppliers will be able to pass on the cost of container deposits and handling fees to consumers via the wholesale price to the retailer. Consumers will pay this when they purchase the beverage.
Consumers will be entitled to a 10 cent per container deposit refund when they return their containers to an approved collection point.