Concerns have been raised that the introduction of a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) in New South Wales next month, will see independently-owned businesses on the NSW border suffer.
Jos de Bruin, CEO of Master Grocers Australia (MGA) Independent Retailers, has called on the NSW Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton, to listen to the border retailers, who will “suffer serious business consequences” as a result of the CDS.
“Independently owned and operated supermarkets and liquor stores will be forced to increase their prices to accommodate the 10c refund and additional logistics costs on drink containers, whether they be bottles or cans and if the consumer can buy those goods cheaper across the border can you blame them?” de Bruin said.
“Then there is the big chain store that will have the reverse vending machine for money returns right outside their doors, so that the consumer can go there instead of going to their small local store who hasn’t got the space or money to house a similar machine.
“The loss of viability and sustainability is inevitable, and these small businesses will just close down.
“All this information was put to the Government to consider, but they have chosen to ignore these issues. Is it that they just don’t care about the hundreds of small and independently owned businesses that have worked hard to build their businesses?
“This would seem to be the case. The Minister has just chosen to ignore the pleas by NSW small business owners for some consideration of the damage that this will do to them.”
The CDS, called Return and Earn in NSW, kicks off on 1 December, but in order for the scheme to have funds to start paying deposits on that day, the scheme has been invoicing suppliers from 1 November, which has seen beer and other eligible drink prices increase.
The Government has come under criticism for its lack of information to consumers about the scheme and its associated costs, but it’s response to those criticisms was rather underwhelming.