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May 17, 2010

G Online: The Best of Green

Government accused of go-slow on national cash for cans scheme

The Federal Government has been accused of "stuffing around" in relation to a national container deposit scheme, the time is now say environmental experts.

A national scheme would remove six billion containers from landfills and provide Australia with 330,000 tonnes of extra resources according to director of the Total Environment Centre, Jeff Angel.

Submissions to the bill Environment Protection (Beverage Container Deposit and Recovery Scheme) Act 2009, introduced one year ago today, are due to be reported and released to the public on the 21st of May.

The draft bill submitted some 12 months ago has according to Angel taken too long. "The root reason is stuffing around in bureaucracies. National Container Deposit Legislation is long overdue," he said.

The bill would introduce a 10 cent deposit, which could be recouped by consumers at designated collection stations, which would be set up around the country.

"It is the most effective way we know of achieving return rates of at least 80 per cent of beverage containers, as South Australia has demonstrated for so long now," said Jeff Angel.

"Local governments want CD (Container Deposit), environment groups want CD, and recent research shows that the general community wants action and is willing to pay the tiny increase (half a cent) in purchase price to make it work."

"We would conserve our planet's resources with the energy and greenhouse gases used in the production of containers being saved," said Angel.

Currently, South Australia is the only state with container deposit legislation in action. Victoria has enabled an act which will come in effect in July and the Northern Territory have recently passed a similar act which will come in effect at the end of 2011.

National Container Deposit Legislation would not only help the environment but would also help create new 'green' jobs according to Angel.

"It's time the state and federal governments released the Choice modelling study and got on with a Regulatory Impact Statement. The Commonwealth should be taking the lead on this issue", said Angel.


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