By Andy Young
The New South Wales Government has listened to the concerns of environmental groups and industry bodies and extended the implementation date for the state’s Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) by five months.
Initially scheduled to commence on 1 July 2017, the CDS will now be rolled out from 1 December 2017, which the Government said is “in order to ensure maximum possible state-wide coverage from day one”.
NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said: “Clean Up Australia and the Boomerang Alliance, along with industry stakeholders, have asked for an extension of time to make sure the container deposit scheme is a world leading program, from day one.
“This will be the biggest initiative to tackle litter in the state’s history – stakeholder feedback is vital to get the scheme right.”
Last year TheShout revealed that an industry consortium including Asahi, Carlton & United Breweries, Coca-Cola Amatil, Coopers and Lion, had formed the Exchange for Change company, which was bidding to become the scheme coordinator and network operators.
Although many industry organisations were initially opposed to a CDS in NSW, because of the high cost which gets passed on to the consumer, Exchange for Change told TheShout that once the Government made its commitment to go ahead, it was important to get on-board and support the scheme.
“Our vision for the scheme is the full achievement of environmental outcomes, operating the scheme efficiently, robust and transparent governance, achieving a high degree of community awareness and ensuring the benefits of the scheme flow through to grassroots communities,” Jeff Maguire, Head of CDS Implementation at Coca-Cola Amatil and representative of Exchange for Change told TheShout.
The Boomerang Alliance, which campaigned for the CDS to be introduced welcomed the decision to move the start date, in order to make sure the scheme is ready from day one.
“The Alliance understood that getting the container deposit scheme up and running was a very complicated process. It’s better to delay the implementation by a few months, so the scheme is ready from day one,” Boomerang Alliance Director Jeff Angel said.
Under the scheme, people in NSW will be able to return most empty beverage containers between 150 ml and three litres to collection points for a 10-cent refund.
The Australian Food and Grocery Council Director of Economics and Sustainability Tanya Barden said the beverage industry supported an efficient and effective container deposit scheme in NSW.
“We’re pleased that the NSW Government has listened to industry’s and environmental groups’ views about the complexity of introducing such as scheme. This extension allows the time to put the fundamentals in place so that the scheme can operate smoothly for both consumers and industry,” Barden said.