The implementation date for the New South Wales 10 cent container deposit scheme has been extended by five months following requests from environment groups and industry bodies, the NSW Government says.
The government said the container deposit scheme will now be rolled out from 1 December, 2017, in order to “ensure maximum possible state-wide coverage from day one”.
“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,” NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said.
“This will be the biggest initiative to tackle litter in the state’s history – stakeholder feedback is vital to get the scheme right.”
The 2015-2016 National Litter Index found that 49 per cent of litter by volume was made up of beverage containers – and 43 per cent of the total volume was containers that will be caught by the NSW container deposit scheme.
Boomerang Alliance Director Jeff Angel said the Alliance fought hard for the container deposit scheme and wanted to ensure it would work efficiently for the community and business to maximise the environmental benefits.
“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,” Mr 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 container deposit scheme will give people a financial incentive to do the right thing and recycle drink containers to significantly reduce the estimated 160 million drink containers littered every year.
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 a scheme. This extension allows the time to put the fundamentals in place so that the scheme can operate smoothly for both consumers and industry,” Ms Barden said.