Container deposit scheme to start in WA early 2019
Written on the 9 October 2017Western Australia is set to follow South Australia's lead by introducing a container deposit scheme (CDS) which will allow consumers to get a refund on eligible plastic and aluminium containers. The proposed introduction date is early 2019.
Up to 1950, private companies arranged their own refunds for glass bottles. In 1977, South Australia introduced the 5c refund on drink containers and later increased the refund to 10c. The Northern Territory introduced a CDS in 2012, while New South Wales and Queensland will introduce similar schemes in 2017 and 2018 respectively.The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), has released a discussion paper on the proposed CDS in WA for public comment. Key issues include how the scheme will be administered, prevention of fraud, distribution of refunds between local governments and resolution of disputes. Also up for debate are logistical issues such as collection infrastructure, consumer convenience and interaction with kerbside recycling
A study undertaken by the WA Government in 2005 found that a CDS would more than double the recycling rate of containers in the State, resulting in substantial environmental benefits. There would also be employment growth in the recycling and materials processing industries and waste management costs would decrease for local governments.The SBDC has been involved in preliminary discussions with the DWER to ensure the impacts on small business are taken into consideration.
Some impact is likely for small businesses that sell beverages, however there will also be opportunities for others to be involved in collection and recycling.The discussion paper recognises the need for a transition period to allow businesses time to prepare for the CDS and to sell existing stock of unmarked containers. The SBDC will monitor this timeframe.
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