Common-sense needed in litter and recycling debate

With a decision on a national beverage container solution only weeks away, the Australian Beverages Council has called for common-sense to prevail in the decision making process.

With the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting to decide a national approach to litter and recycling in early December, the Australian Beverages Council has once again warned of the impact that the Greens’ proposed drink container deposit scheme would have on the cost of living for families.

“If a national container deposit scheme was introduced there would be an overnight tax on every can or bottle of drink purchased – from milk to water, juice and beer. This will add an additional $300 to the annual shop for households at a time when they’re already doing it tough,” said Australian Beverages Council CEO, Mr Geoff Parker.

“This green tax on drinks will hit families already doing the right thing and recycling their containers through their kerbside bin. It is unfair, unnecessary and will also hurt small manufacturers who are already under acute pressure”.
“The Greens like to pretend container deposits are free – but in fact a scheme would have twice the inflationary impact on the average family’s shop as the carbon tax.”

“Our members strongly support further initiatives to increase recycling and reduce litter and applying a 1970’s solution to a 2013 problem is absurd. We call on all Premiers to be true to their commitments not to burden small manufacturers with further costs, green regulation and taxes, and avoid adding to cost of living pressures. “

“Other states should follow the lead set by Queensland and instead embrace the far more efficient industry alternative that will not cost families a cent,” Mr Parker said.

“We are encouraged that many Ministers are on the record as saying they would not adopt any scheme that was not cost effective nor increased the cost of living to the community. On any objective analysis – including COAG’s own calculations – container deposit schemes fail these criteria” Mr Parker said.

To ensure Australians understand what’s at stake, the Australian Beverages Council has today launched an advertising campaign that highlights what this will cost the average household.

“We believe this issue is important and that is why we have increased our efforts to educate the public on the cost and inconvenience of a national container deposit scheme,” Mr Parker added.

Alternative plans to improve recycling rates being proposed by industry are 28 times less expensive and include significant funding to community groups and local governments to clean up litter hot spots, and more importantly, keep them clean into the future.

The Australian Beverages Council is one of a number of peak industry associations, including the Australian Food and Grocery Council, the Brewers Association of Australia and New Zealand, the Australian National Retailers Association, the Winemaker’s Federation of Australia and the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores, who oppose the container tax.

To find out more visit

Media contact:
Geoff Parker
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Beverages Council
Mobile: 0407 646 195

The Australian Beverages Council is the peak industry voice representing the interests of the manufacturers, distributors and importers of non-alcoholic beverages. Its members include many small and medium sized businesses across all parts of the country. The range of beverages, produced by members includes carbonated diet and regular soft drinks, sports and isotonic drinks, bottled and packaged waters, fruit juice drinks, cordials and iced teas.

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