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December 1, 2010

NT News

Can deposit to cost you $5 a carton

Lion Nathan's Paul Evans says the NT's proposed container deposit scheme will add $5 to a carton of beer. Picture: MICHAEL FRANCHI

INTERNATIONAL brewer Lion Nathan believes a Territory deposit scheme for containers will add almost $5 to the price of a carton of beer.

Paul Evans, the company's director of government and regulation, said the plan was not cost effective and would add 20c to the retail cost of each drink.

But Territory Government Environment Minister Karl Hampton said evidence from South Australia and Territory analysis put the "maximum cost" to consumers of the container deposit scheme at 6c per container.

"I think that $1.44 per carton of drinks is a small price to pay to get containers out of our beautiful natural environment and landfill and money into the pocket of kids and community groups," he said.

The Northern Territory Government will bring in the scheme by the end of next year, aiming to cut litter and halve the number of aluminium cans, glass bottles and milk containers going to landfill.

A deposit of 10c will be paid for each container. A scheme administrator will be appointed by the beverage industry and collection depots across the Territory will be established.

Lion Nathan National Foods which produces XXXX beer and Farmer's Union iced coffee is one of three companies operating collection centres in South Australia. They sort the containers by brand and the companies are charged for their containers.

Mr Evans said it added 5c to the price of a drink in South Australia but thought it would at least double in the NT.

And he warned it could rise by as much as 20c per drink because of transport distances for recycling processing.

But Mr Hampton said: "I would encourage the beverage industry to show the good corporate practice they do in South Australia, which has a CDL scheme, where you can buy a can of soft drink for exactly the same price as here in the NT, because the manufacturers absorb the cost through their supply chain."

Mr Evans said it would be better if industry began their own scheme, with special collections such as at sports events and mobile collections in communities.

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