The Western Australian Government has deferred the launch of its container deposit scheme Containers for Change due to COVID-19 concerns.
Originally planned to launch June 2, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the decision to delay the scheme reflects the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 and its expected disruption to refund points.
According to Mr Dawson, the postponement is in accordance with advice from the scheme co-ordinator, WA Return Recycle Renew.
“COVID-19 has resulted in significant global, national and state impacts and there has been disruption across the board for government initiatives and services,” he said.
“The state government, in close consultation with WA Return Recycle Renew and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, determined that under the COVID-19 environment we are all faced with, there are too many potential health risks and logistical difficulties to start the scheme on June 2, 2020.”
The state government will review the situation in August 2020 to determine whether the scheme’s new start date will be November 2020 or June 2021.
“Delaying the scheme until after the major impacts of COVID-19 are felt will eliminate the public health concerns such as potential risk of infection from handling containers, as well as over-the-counter refund points contravening social distancing,” Mr Dawson said.
“While it is disappointing to be deferring the scheme, we remain committed to delivering the most diverse and accessible scheme in Australia. We will continue to work together and update the community, operators and suppliers throughout this period of uncertainty.”