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September 21, 2007

Dunedin Bottle Buy Back a Huge Success
Press Release: Joint Media Statement

Every hour a stunning 1,455 bottles and cans were cashed in at a Bottle Buy Back event held in Dunedin on Wednesday, with a "refund" of 10c paid out on a total of 7,276 containers. The initiative was designed by The Otago University Student's Association to encourage students to clean up North Dunedin streets following the widely publicised student riots recently. The Bottle Buy Back also highlighted the feasibility of Container Deposit Legislation (CDL), and its positive effects on our environment.

In a move away from the main drink industry stance on CDL, Phoenix Organics demonstrated their commitment to keeping New Zealand green by sponsoring The Bottle Buy Back, and is looking to support consecutive events around the country.

"The Container Deposit system is in line with Phoenix Organic principles of operating a sustainable business", said Ron Curteis of Phoenix Organics. "We're very supportive of the students' initiative to reduce the impact packaging has on our environment".

Also promoting recycling and the CDL model with their support of The Bottle Buy Back were The University of Otago, Wanaka Wastebusters, Students for Environmental Action, the Otago University Students Association and the Entrust Foundation.

Dunedin's Green Man Brewery recycle their packaging and re-use their bottles, and were pleased to see their bottles amongst those returned to the Bottle Buy Back depots.

"I hope that this will result in a new era in producer responsibility for the beverage industry" said Tom Jones at Green Man Brewery. "We were pleased to see so many people participating and it's good to see Phoenix Organics also getting in behind the students."

The majority of returned containers were glass (58%), with cans making up 32%, and plastic representing the remaining 10%.

"New Zealanders consume around 1.92 billion beverages a year, and with recycling rates in New Zealand reaching less than 40%, our 'Clean Green' image doesn't stand up against other countries who achieve 80 - 90% recovery rates" says Warren Snow of sustainability consultants Envision New Zealand, "This event has shown how simple and logical the CDL concept really is - and how much support it has from the public."

Container Deposit Legislation (CDL) is a market based mechanism that puts a small refundable deposit on beverage containers. Government sets the parameters of the system and the beverage industry designs and implements it.

The CDL model is effective because it creates a financial incentive for people to return beverage containers, captures beverage containers used away from home (over 50% of total) that kerbside recycling does not recover, and transfers the costs from local government and ratepayers to beverage producers and consumers, illustrating a key principle of extended producer responsibility and product stewardship.

Envision New Zealand intend to replicate the success of Dunedin's Bottle Buy Back with similar events around the country


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