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November 10, 2009

The Age

Drink scheme canned for now

STATE and federal environment ministers again ducked the issue of container deposit legislation at their meeting in Perth last week despite calls for immediate action from local government and environmental groups.

South Australia has been offering refunds on drink containers for more than 30 years and a national scheme would save councils $75 million a year in waste collection at a cost as low as 0.4 cents a bottle to consumers.

Despite calls by local mayors, the local government and shires associations, the Greens, the Total Environment Centre and the Boomerang Alliance, ministers again side-stepped the issue.

"If a sufficient willingness to pay is demonstrated by the community the next step would be to compare this against the cost of a range of options including a container deposit scheme,'' they said.

A container deposit scheme could boost recycling by one million tonnes and cut greenhouse gases by 1.5 million tonnes a year.


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