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February 7, 2010

The Greens, Media release

Greens ready to deliver practical solution to glass, plastic and aluminium containers polluting Tasmania
Time to Implement State-Based Container Deposit Scheme is Now

The Tasmanian Greens today announced a policy commitment to introduce a state-based Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) to reduce the amount of rubbish generated by beverage containers littering Tasmanian roadsides and polluting its waterways.

Greens Environment spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said the need for CDS in Tasmania is made obvious every Clean Up Australia Day when volunteers collect thousands of tonnes of rubbish, much of it beverage containers that are not biodegradable, have a recyclable value and could generate an income stream for individuals and not-for-profit organisations.

“A comprehensive CDS would do more than any other legislative measure to reduce the amount of litter on our roadsides, clogging up our waterways and fouling our beaches,” Ms O’Connor said.

“Our landfill sites are filling up.  Instead of just digging deeper holes to stick more rubbish in, we need to look at better ways to improve recycling and reuse rates for beverage containers.”

“This policy measure, which the Greens are ready to deliver, will be good for the environment and only enhance our clean, green reputation.  It will also generate income for enterprising individuals and not-for-profit organisations who collect discarded beverage containers and take them to community collection depots for refunds.”

“South Australia has operated a successful Container Deposit Scheme since 1977, and the Northern Territory Government has announced it too will go it alone in the absence of progress to establish a national scheme.”

“In South Australia for example, it’s estimated there are approximately 540 million refundable containers sold each year with approximately 420 million returned for refunds.  In S.A., the CDS  has created a viable small business collection and recycling industry.”

“The Tasmanian Government has dithered far too long on the need to introduce a state-based CDS.  The Greens are prepared to show leadership on this important environmental issue to help preserve what makes Tasmania special.”

“A Tasmanian Parliamentary Committee which examined this issue five years ago, received legal advice from the Tasmanian Solicitor General that there is no Constitutional barrier to Tasmania implementing its own Container Deposit Scheme.”

“Claims from the beverage industry that Container Deposit Schemes cannot operate along with curbside recycling schemes have been proved wrong by the successful operation of both systems in places like South Australia and California.”

Ms O’Connor also said that a CDS is a first step towards a comprehensive Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme, which would ensure that companies which manufacture waste are ultimately responsible for the costs associated with its disposal, rather than governments and taxpayers.


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