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13 February 2008

Australian Food and Grocery Council
Press Release

Food and beverage industry queries South Australian Government decision to double beverage levy on consumers

The food and beverage industry has questioned the objectives of the South Australian government in light of its decision to double the container deposit levy on beverage containers from 5 to 10 cents.

Australian Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Dick Wells said that it was clear that most South Australians were doing the right thing and actively recycling beverage containers. 

“Increasing the deposit price is likely to increase costs for the whole community, instead of targeting the small minority who litter or do not recycle.

“Container deposit legislation is an overly simplistic approach that covers less than 3 per cent of the total wastestream.”

Mr Wells said that industry has had a number of discussions with the South Australian Government about better ways to improve the recovery rate not only of beverage containers, but also other packaging materials.

“We are disappointed that the South Australian Government didn’t consider options to improve commercial and industrial collection systems and hasn’t focused on community education programs.

“Targeting activities in these areas could well have achieved the desired outcome, at much lower cost to the community.
“The preferred alternative would be to exploit voluntary options to the fullest extent through the core policy instrument of the National Packaging Covenant, to which the South Australian Government is a signatory.”

Mr Wells said that the step taken by the South Australian Government would seriously undermine the National Packaging Covenant because it diverts policy away from the productive and cooperative framework supported by all government jurisdictions and industry, towards more costly and onerous regulatory approaches. 

For more information contact Rosie Schmedding at the AFGC on 02 6273 1466 or 0437 379 818. 



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