NSW introduces drink container recycling scheme

NSW consumers will soon receive a 10 cent refund when they return their used drink containers to designated sites around the state.

AAP reports that NSW Premier Mike Baird yesterday announced that the NSW container deposit scheme (CDS) will come into force from July next year.

“This is an historical day for NSW,” Baird told reporters.

“Never before has there been an attack on litter like we are undertaking today.”

Beverage suppliers will pay for the refunds and also pay for handling and administrative fees. As such, before yesterday’s announcement environmentalists had feared the government would bow to industry pressure and water down the scheme.

However, as the ABC reports, Coca-Cola Amatil’s Jeff Maguire appeared with the Premier at yesterday’s launch and cautiously welcomed the scheme.

“[It’s] low cost, and efficient and effective for NSW going forward,” he commented.

Both the Opposition and the Greens also welcomed the announcement.

“If the NSW Government follows through and introduces a genuine container deposit scheme we will see a huge reduction in litter and the plastics that pollute our marine environment,” Greens MP and Environment Spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi said.

Labor’s environment spokeswoman Penny Sharpe raised the need to now look at ways to deal with the problem of shopping bags and pollution.

The CDS was inspired by a similar system already operating in South Australia. Yesterday there were calls for the ACT to follow suit.