Container Deposit Tax to Hurt Regional Australia

Regional communities will be the big losers if a planned container deposit tax is introduced, with more than three million Victorian households finding it difficult to travel to a remote deposit centre for a partial refund on their drink containers.

That means regional Australia will be hit with an unnecessary $1 billion recycling bill, despite Australia already boasting one of the most successful recycling rates in the world.

Under the proposed Container Deposit Scheme, consumers will pay an extra 20 cents on every bottle, can or container they buy. They would then need to take them to a deposit centre for a partial refund of 10 cents.
For Australians living in regional and remote communities, the distance to drive to a deposit centre could become costly in time and fuel.

In addition, almost 450 Victorian jobs1 are under threat from the container deposit tax in drink manufacturing, distribution and packaging hubs, including those around Shepparton, Niddrie, Altona, Broadmeadows and Carrum, who will be most at risk of job losses.

Australian Beverages Council CEO Geoff Parker said, “Milk and juice producers are also expected to be affected by falling demand, caused by higher prices at the checkout. Major dairying and juice communities, including those in Rodney, Swan Hill, Polworth, Morwell, Mildura and the South West Coast, should not be threatened by another green tax adding unnecessary cost to their products.

“The Greens’ claims that a container deposit tax would generate thousands of new jobs should be treated with the utmost scepticism. The livelihood of more than 440 Victorians, and their families, should not be risked on the basis of the Greens’ promises, particularly at a time when manufacturing in the state is under acute pressure.
1 ACIL Tasman: National Container Deposit Scheme Impacts, Projected Changes in Australian Retail Volumes and Associated Employment Impacts by Beverage Category September 2011.

According to a poll2 of community attitudes to the container scheme, 1.3 million Victorian households would find it inconvenient to travel to a deposit centre and would instead deposit their glass and plastic containers into their household recycling bins.

“Consumers in regional areas, where recycling depots are not conveniently located, could end up paying up to 20 cents extra on each container they purchase, without ever recovering their 10c deposit”.
“Effectively, 1.3 million Victorian households would be collectively throwing away $365 million dollars every year, that’s $1 million a day” said Mr Parker.

“The average household purchases 27 milk and other beverage containers per week, so this new tax would lead to a $300 hit to the family budget.

“With the majority of Victorian residents objecting to the $300 increase in their cost of living and massive inconvenience flowing from the container deposit scheme, it begs the question why are we even considering it?
“It is hard to understand why Governments would bow to Greens pressure to move away from the current kerbside system that has taken years to develop and has resulted in world’s best practice to replace it with something that many, particularly in regional areas won’t use.”

According to Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index, Victoria already has the highest recycling rates in Australia, primarily because of the successful kerbside yellow-topped bins service, run by local councils.
Alternative industry funded plans, include a partnership model endorsed by Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria. These alternative plans have been found by COAG to be as effective as a container deposit tax and at a 28th of the cost, with no additional cost to consumers.

To find out more visit www.nodrinkcontainertax.org.au

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.
2 Poll conducted by Pure Profile who surveyed 2012 NSW and Victorian residents June and October 2013.

Media Release_Container deposit tax to hurt regional Australia_FINAL