Press release – 25 June, 2013Sydney, Wednesday 26 June: Plastic waste would be greatly reduced under a proposed national Cash for Containers plan which was supported today by NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker.Greenpeace welcomed the Minister’s support for the scheme – which would provide funds for local community groups who collect beverage containers. It also reduces fatalities among marine animals and seabirds which swallow plastic rubbish which ends up rivers and the ocean.
“84% of Australians support Cash for Containers and it is heartening to finally see the NSW Environment Minister sort through the trash and consider the real benefits of a national container deposit scheme,” said Greenpeace Campaigner Reece Turner.
In her comments, the Minister assured the national scheme would not lead to increased cost of living pressures on families, negating ludicrous claims by the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).
"It really is a no brainer,” said Turner. “Each year 8 billion bottles and cans trash our beaches, rivers and oceans and each year the beverage industry breaks its promise to fix the problem.”
“As proven in over 40 locations around the world, an effective container deposit scheme can double recycling rates, create thousands of jobs and benefit local councils and community service groups to the tune of millions of dollars each year.”
South Australia has employed a container deposit scheme for the last 35 years and its recycling rate of 85% puts the rest of the country’s dismal 34% to shame.
Turner said the biggest hurdle to the introduction of a national scheme is the beverage industry – led by Coca-Cola – who this year took the Northern Territory Government to court for introducing a similar scheme, despite a dramatic increase in recycling rates.
“We all want clean beaches to swim in and rubbish-free parks for our kids to play in. Now is the time for governments to stand up to beverage industry bullies and make them stop trashing Australia,” Turner said.
MP’s around the country are speaking out in support of the proven and effective recycling scheme, with the Tasmanian Parliament vowing to proceed regardless of the decision on a national scheme made by Premiers and State Ministers in the next few weeks.
Greenpeace has led a campaign exposing the environmental damage caused by the beverage industry in their opposition to a container deposit scheme. The campaign has called on NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell to support the scheme.
“The Premier has not yet publicly stated his position on the Cash for Containers, but the support shown by Minister Parker today is a positive move in the right direction,” Turner said.
For more information contact Communications Manager James Lorenz on 0400 376 021 or Greenpeace Campaigner Reece Turner on 0408 754 910