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February 12, 2008

The Age

SA to double deposit on bottles and cans

South Australia has moved to double the deposit on drink bottles, cans and cartons in a move Clean Up Australia has hailed a model for the rest of the country.

Premier Mike Rann said on Tuesday the current five cent deposit on drink containers, which had been in place since 1977, would be doubled to 10 cents later this year.

He said the increase would provide a greater incentive to recycle empty containers and cut into the 185 million still going to landfill each year.

"It will ensure even more containers are recycled, as well as reducing litter and increasing the amount of money community groups can generate from the return of containers," Mr Rann said.

In recent years, the return rate for drink containers had dropped from about 84 per cent to 70 per cent, suggesting, the premier said, the time was right to increase the deposit.

Clean Up Australia chairman Ian Kiernan said doubling the refund for recycling drink bottles and cans was the most effective way to boost recycling rates and SA's lead should be followed by other states.

He said a poll conducted last year indicated 82 per cent of people across Australia supported the idea of a national 10 cent refund.

"It's a no-brainer," Mr Kiernan said.

"The community, government and industry all have a role to play and a shared responsibility to make recycling an effective solution to waste.

"A financial incentive to recycle is a compelling reason not to dump bottles and cans in the environment."

Mr Rann said South Australia's aim was to have every container carrying the deposit returned for recycling.

He said the government would consult with the beverage industry and container collectors to ensure the transition to a 10 cent deposit was carefully planned.

Coca-Cola Amatil said the increase in the container deposit would just hurt families by increasing the cost of packaged alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

"We are of the view that an increased container deposit levy will effectively be a tax on the majority of South Australians who do the right thing when it comes to litter," said managing director Warwick White.

"Container deposit levies are an old fashioned and inefficient response to the waste problem.

"Improved recovery is better addressed by investing in more efficient kerbside and public place recycling systems, as well as better public education."

 

http://news.theage.com.au/sa-to-double-deposit-on-bottles-and-cans/20080212-1rs3.html


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