24 August 2012


Drink Container Tax is a Triple Threat to Jobs, Weekly Shop, and Consumer Choice

The Australian Beverages Council has today expressed disappointment that Australia’s Environment Ministers are still considering the triple threat of a drink container tax – job losses, increased grocery costs and a reduction in consumer choice.

At today’s COAG meeting a majority of Ministers decided to move to a Decision Regulation Impact Statement for a range of options to reduce litter and increase recycling, including a national drink container tax. An additional three options were also included to the range of options.

“The first threat is the loss of jobs. The industry is already in a state of contraction and any further stress on manufacturers, including small and medium companies, through a drink container tax will cost jobs” said the Beverages Council’s CEO, Mr Geoff Parker.

“Proponents of a drink container tax cite nostalgic ideas of scout groups and schools collecting used drink containers to buy new equipment. What they don’t realise is this will cost jobs and ultimately end up in a nation-wide emu parade by children to collect a few dollars. As a nation we’re probably past this type of approach to litter and recycling.

“Secondly, it is estimated the drink container tax will add an additional $300 to the annual shop for households at a time when they’re doing it tough. Ironically, families are already recycling their bottles and cans at home and pay for this through their council rates. The drink container tax is a double hit for families and just not fair.

“Finally, the impact on the industry of a drink container tax will force many small and medium-sized companies, particularly those in regional towns, to scale down or worse still, close. Consumer choice will be greatly diminished. Those small niche brands will disappear.

“This triple threat of a drink container tax is very real. We urge Ministers to employ common sense and reconsider the most cost-effective way to reduce litter and increase recycling without the collateral damage. A drink container tax isn’t it” Mr Parker concluded.


The Australian Beverages Council is the peak industry voice representing the interests of the manufacturers, distributors and importers of non-alcoholic beverages. 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.

Geoff Parker
Chief Executive Officer
+61 407 646 195