‘Have You Got The Bottle?’ HQ were recently cheered by a few pieces of news coming out of Australia.
The first is that New South Wales, Australia is set to roll out a deposit return system from July 2017. Campaigners and pro-deposit return politicians there have fought hard for the last thirteen years, with some of the more memorable moments involving players like Greenpeace.
Deposit return – called ‘cash for containers’ in Oz – was reinstated in the Northern Territory in August 2013, after reportedly tripling recycling rates to 67% in a year. And, in fact, the recycling industry itself said that a national scheme could bring in $500 million in investment and add 3500 jobs to Australia’s economy.
There’s a great Boomerang Alliance video here on the move in NSW and is well worth a quick watch. This story gives a bit of insight into the battle, the players and some of the uglier moments – like lawsuits by industry – which is a typical tactic employed by big manufacturers and the packaging industry. However, as of last week, Coca Cola Australia have changed their tune, saying deposit return would be ‘low cost’ and ‘efficient.’
Queensland and the ACT (the area around Canberra) have said they will be looking at the idea in more detail following its introduction in NSW. That leads us nicely into ‘good news from Australia, part deux.’
The Australian Senate recently released a report called ‘Toxic tide: the threat of marine plastic pollution in Australia.’ Pts 8.74-.76 give a good response to typical big business arguments against deposit return, and recommendations 15 and 16 recommend that all states in Australia introduce deposit return systems to address marine litter. And, if they have not voluntarily done so by 2020, the report recommends the Government develop legislation to ensure they do.
Campaigning that represents the interests of normal people like us, plus legislation that’s based on expert advice and good evidence can win, in spite of the opposition. Yay, Australia!