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October 31, 2009

Sunday Mail

Recycling rebate under fire as cost of alcohol to rise

AUSTRALIANS will pay an extra $3.36 for a carton of beer and 14c more for a can of soft drink if a Federal Government push for a national drink container recycling scheme is adopted, manufacturers say.

An Australia-wide 10c rebate on used bottles and cans could be announced as soon as this week with the National Environment Protection Council to meet in Perth to discuss the Rudd Government's Container Deposit Scheme.

But drink giants like Coca-Cola Amatil, Fosters Group and Lion Nathan have vowed to pass on any costs to consumers if the plan is approved.

Fosters spokesman Troy Hey said the company would increase the price of popular products such as Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught and Crown Lager.

"Take your stubbies, put 14¢ on top of the price of every one," he said.

"Add that to a slab and your talking about $3.30 more.

"If that was going to lead to a fantastic increase in recycling that might be all right but it's not because the average person is not going to drive their stubbies down to a collection point to get their 10c back."

Coca Cola spokeswoman Sally Loane said there was no doubt people would pay more over the counter if the recycling scheme was introduced.

Industry sources said extra charges were likely to be 17c a container once retail mark-up was considered. A spokesman for Lion Nathan, which sells popular beer brands Heinekin, Becks and James Boags says it will also pass on any costs.


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