A survey conducted by NSW Labor claims that nearly 20 per cent of the participants of the Government’s Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) have withdrawn, or are in the process of doing so.
The survey of 139 scheme participants over 6 and 7 December also found that nine per cent of the participants were not yet operating and a further five per cent were not even aware of the fact that they were a designated CDS collection point.
Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe MLC, said: The rollout of the container deposit scheme has been a complete shambles.
“There were meant to be 800 reverse vending machines in place but there are still only 52 listed, so the Government has turned to newsagents, car washes and kebab shops as its fallback – but clearly it isn’t working.
“If we are serious about litter reduction, we need a functional container deposit scheme – but the Environment Minister has botched it.”
Labor said that its survey covered 62 per cent of Return & Earn’s 225 over-the-counter collection points – mostly corner shops, small businesses and cafes – listed around NSW, adding that the remaining businesses “could not be reached either because there was no phone number listed for the business or the number was disconnected”.
Despite the criticism, the EPA this week told TheShout that “there has been great community uptake of the scheme” with 3.3 million containers returned.
Last week, the President of Cider Australia, Sam Reid, told TheShout that the scheme was “possibly the worst thought out and implemented piece of legislation since the Rudd Government implemented the mining tax”.