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July 1, 2010

Liverpool Leader

Bottle levy councillor's pet project

A NATIONAL container deposit levy must be adopted by the Federal Government at a crucial environmental meeting next week, Liverpool councillor Peter Harle said.

State and federal environment ministers will meet in Darwin on Saturday to discuss the next steps in recycling of packaging, including beverage containers.

“Rubbish flowing into the Georges River and other rivers could be reduced dramatically if the levy was introduced at this meeting,” Cr Harle said.

“This is the perfect opportunity to act after years of procrastinating to please the plastic drink container manufacturers and their lobbyists.

“From 2005 to 2010, 23,262 bags, each containing about 90 per cent of drink containers and weighing around 15kg, have been removed from the Georges River,” he said.

Another 126,077 kg of material not in bags, made up part of 471,241kg of rubbish removed from the river in the last five years.

“Many drink containers are PET bottles which could easily be recycled,” Cr Harle said.

He has video footage showing a large number of PET bottles lying on the foreshore of Bedwell Park Lake which flows into a Georges River tributary.

“Placing a monetary value of five or 10c on the containers would mean the litter would disappear because the containers would be worth something,” Cr Harle said.

Last year, Green’s spokesman Scott Ludlam said polls show up to 94 per cent of people support a container deposit levy.

A spokesman for the Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett said: “A decision to impose any new legislation on the community should not be taken lightly it needs to be evidence based and to look at both the costs and benefits of a scheme.”


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