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March 31, 2009

9 News

Vic Greens spruik bottle refund scheme

A proposed scheme to recycle drink containers in Victoria should be rolled out across Australia, the Greens say.

Victorian Greens MP Colleen Hartland released a report on Tuesday explaining the plan, which would return 10 cents for every can, bottle or container recycled.

Pollution would be reduced and thousands of dollars saved under the scheme, Ms Hartland said.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam applauded Ms Hartland's report, saying it should be rolled out across the country.

"This is an initiative that would reduce waste, slash council rates, provide consumer incentives to recycle and create hundreds of green jobs," Senator Ludlam said.

"There's no logical reason why government wouldn't support it."

Similar legislation is already in place in South Australia.

Ms Hartland's report showed beverage container recycling rates in Victoria would increase to 83 per cent, reduce greenhouse gases by over 350,000 tonnes and create between 300 and 400 new jobs.

Victorian councils spend $72 million a year combating litter - 35 per cent of which is containers.

Ms Hartland said if the simple 10-cent deposit scheme was introduced, local government would save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

"Imagine what your council could do with the money saved," Ms Hartland said.

She commissioned the report to put pressure on the government to support her plan.

The scheme would see the 10-cent deposit included in the cost of the can, bottle or carton.

When an item is taken to a depot, the 10 cents is returned.

Alternatively, people can put the containers in the recycling bin as usual, and community and sports groups can run a fundraising scheme by collecting the empties.

"We know that 94 per cent of Victorians support container deposits in Victoria and the recycling industry is lining up to get involved.

"You have to ask yourself why the Victorian government doesn't support it."

Most disposable drink containers, including cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles and cartons would be included in the scheme, but food containers and refillable bottles would not be.

Ms Hartland plans to introduce the relevant legislation to the Victorian parliament later this year.


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