Queenslanders will soon be able to get a 10-cent refund for each bottle and can they recycle.
The government has confirmed that a container deposit scheme will be introduced in Queensland in 2018.
Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles announced this morning that Queensland and New South Wales have entered into high-level talks about setting up a single-scheme administrator for container deposit schemes in both states.
“We want a seamless system that’s good for the environment and friendly for businesses,” Dr Miles said.
“No one wants an outcome where the rules that apply to a bottle of soft drink sold at Tweed Heads are different to the one you buy at the Gold Coast.
“A single administrator could cover both states to deliver the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness.
“We will work closely with the Baird Liberal Government of NSW to deliver a CDS in both states.”
Dr Miles said there was considerable industry and community support for a container deposit scheme.
“A 2015 NewsPoll showed 86 per cent of Queenslanders wanted a container deposit scheme,” he said.
“South Australia has had a similar scheme since the 1970s, the Northern Territory introduced one in 2011 and New South Wales will introduce their scheme next year.
“We are looking at aligning our scheme with NSW, where people will be able to take empty drink containers to a collection depot, or place it in a reverse vending machine to receive a 10-cent refund.
“In NSW, most drinks sold in containers between 150ml and three litres will be included — with eligible containers to be clearly marked.
“Plain milk, pure juice and wine containers are not included in the scheme.”
National Litter Index figures show Queensland continues to be the most littered mainland state in Australia.
The announcement has been welcomed by the Boomerang Alliance and Wildlife Queensland.
“The fact is that beverage containers represent a large part of all litter. The introduction of a scheme could reduce litter in Queensland by 50 percent, and the impacts of dangerous plastic pollution of the environment,” said Toby Hutcheon, spokesperson for the Boomerang Alliance and Wildlife Queensland.
“Cash for containers is a proven scheme and will slash litter rates, increase recycling across the state, create hundreds of jobs in collection and re-processing and provide a financial boost to community organisations interested in collecting cans and bottles.
“In Queensland we use over 2.4 billion beverage containers every year. Most are either landfilled or littered. In South Australia, which has a container deposit scheme, over 80 per cent of containers are recycled.
“With New South Wales set to introduce a cash for containers scheme in 2017, this decision means that New South Wales and Queensland can cooperate in addressing container litter once and for all. We hope this joint action will encourage other states such as Victoria and Western Australia to follow suit.”
Dr Miles said the Government will be consulting and seeking feedback on the best way to make sure the scheme’s implementation is “truly state-wide”.
“This is where community groups and other organisations can help and potentially get an enormous benefit out of the scheme. We want to talk to as many people as possible before the end of the year.”
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