Cans for recycling in a container deposit scheme

WA joins CDS movement

The Western Australia Government has said it plans to introduce a container deposit scheme (CDS) in 2018.

The statement on 17 August follows the Queensland Government’s announcement in July confirming its intention to bring in a CDS in 2018, after a 2015 poll revealed 86 per cent of Queenslanders would support such a program. The New South Wales Government is working towards the launch of its scheme in July 2017.

WA Premier Colin Barnett said community desire for a CDS was very strong, which suggests high participation and help improve recycling and reduce littering in the state.

When introduced, consumers will be able to get a 10 cent refund on cans and bottles uses for drinks including beer, soft drinks, milk drinks and spirit-based mixed drinks. Reverse vending machines and collection depots to issue the refunds will be installed at parks, beaches and other public spaces across the state. The cost of the CDS will be incorporated into the price of the packaged drinks.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the scheme would complement WA’s recycling culture.

“It will benefit charities, sporting groups and community groups by allowing them to profit by participating in large-scale recycling activities.  It’s a win for the environment, jobs, the community and the recycling industry,” Mr Jacob said.

“I have been persuaded by the success of schemes in other States and Territories. South Australia records higher recycling rates than any other State and significantly less beverage container litter and WA has the highest percentage of drinks containers in our litter. I believe a scheme will make a big difference in this State.”

WA’s litter stream has 13.2 per cent drinks containers against 2.2 per cent in South Australia’s.

The container deposit scheme will complement the Western Australian Waste Strategy: Creating the right environment and the Litter Prevention Strategy for Western Australia 2015-2020.

Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) CEO Martin Tolar welcomed the news of the latest supporter of a CDS.

“I encourage the Western Australian Government to work with its New South Wales, Queensland and South Australian counterparts to align the state schemes to a single framework,” said Mr Tolar.

“This announcement continues the work towards a truly national approach to a container deposit scheme and is a timely reminder to other jurisdictions who are yet to consider a CDS.”