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May 19, 2011

Harborough Mail
Letter to the Editor

Australian litter

JUST writing to say how pleased I was to read your article ‘Little Lara’s gotta lotta bottle’ in your online edition dated May 17, 2011.

Your readers may be interested to know that South Australia leads our nation in many aspects of sustainable uses of resources, the most obvious one being our Container Deposit Legislation (mandatory refunds on beverage containers) which has been in place in South Australia since 1977 and has become an iconic feature within our State to point where it was voted as a State Heritage Icon in 2006.

The success of South Australia’s scheme is very real, and since its inception this legislation has proved to be very effective in addressing litter and encouraging recycling.

In 2008, in response to declining return rates and increased litter of beverage containers this Government announced that the refund would increase from five cents to ten cents and, after considerable consultation, this increase took effect on 1 September 2008. This increase has proven to be very successful.

Since the refund increase, approximately 1.64 billion beverage containers have been returned to recycling depots for a refund, representing more than $164 million going back into the pockets of the community.

This represents approximately 127,400 tonnes of beverage containers that may have otherwise ended up in landfill or litter.

So far in 2010/11 year, South Australians have returned approximately 80 per cent of all beverage containers - that is approximately 36,000 tonnes of beverage containers recovered and recycled.

South Australia is also the first state in Australia to introduce plastic shopping bag prohibition via the Plastic Shopping Bags (Waste Avoidance) Act 2008 which has seen the old style lightweight shopping bags disappear from use. All plastic bags with handles under 35microns are banned unless they are biodegradable bags.

I trust you find this information interesting given that it is with the spirit of the article published about the young girl ‘Lara’ to whom we all wish to pass on our best wishes and admiration.

All the best from South Australia.

Steve Smith,

Senior Project Officer,

Container Deposits & Plastic Shopping Bags.


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