The Queensland Government in February extended the timeframe for its Container Deposit Scheme from 1 July to 1 November 2018.
Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said it was important to get the scheme right from day one so that its full community, environmental and recycling benefits are realised.
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“We know Queenslanders want a container refund scheme and we have industry and community support for it. We also recognise it takes time and effort to ensure this is done efficiently and effectively,” she said.
Legislation to extend the start date of the Container Deposit Scheme was introduced into parliament in February.
Waste Recycling Industry Association Queensland Chief Executive Officer Rick Ralph said the new timeframe would give industry time to establish the right systems and make investments to ensure the scheme was accessible to all Queenslanders from the beginning.
“Queensland’s complex demographics, coupled with recent changes in terms of markets for recovered products globally, prove the decision is right and important in making the program the very best it can be,” Mr Ralph said.
A new not-for-profit company Container Exchange (CoEx) has been appointed as the product responsibility organisation (PRO) to administer and run Queensland’s container refund scheme.
CoEx will be governed by a board of nine directors, made up of beverage industry and independent representation, and will include an independent chair.
As the PRO, CoEx will work with the government to ensure the scheme is a success, and that it remains efficient and delivers positive outcomes for the public, community groups and the environment.
“I am pleased that two of our largest beverage manufacturers – Coca-Cola Amatil and Lion – are involved in CoEx,” Ms Enoch said.
“This is fitting as these entities represent around half of the beverage brands on the Queensland market.
“This approach has the support of environment and community groups, as well as the beverage sector, and will provide balance, transparency and equity in how CoEx and the scheme itself is run.”
Ms Enoch said CoEx was required to ensure an adequate number of container refund points were in place when the scheme started so its benefits would be available across Queensland.
She said the government is looking to have more than 200 refund points across Queensland ready to operate by 1 November this year, and CoEx will ensure they are located where as many people as possible in our de-centralised state can access them.
“CoEx has already started this process by putting a request for proposal into the market, seeking interest from individuals and organisations that want to run container refund points,” she said.
“CoEx will also work to ensure the scheme’s running costs are minimised, with as small an impact as possible on the beverage industry and the community.
“As we move towards the scheme’s 1 November start date, the public will be kept informed of container refund point locations and other relevant information through public information sessions, industry workshops, media announcements and online content.”
The refund scheme will see most drink containers between 150ml and 3L eligible for a 10 cent refund, although some containers are exempt.
Information on the scheme, including eligible containers, is available via the Queensland Government website.