Drink Container Deposit Scheme – a reality for NSW?

Clr Peter Harle JP

Councillor Peter Harle JP

Considering the enormous amount of lobbying that has occurred since 2002, it appears that the NSW State Government, more specifically the Liberal Party and Premier Mike Baird, has decided to take on the beverage and recycling industry.

It is long overdue, NSW should have had a drink Container Deposit Scheme similar to that operating very successfully in South Australia since 1975. Thanks to the innovative Premier; Don Dunstan AC, QC.

More detailed information via the SA EPA website here: http://www.epa.sa.gov.au/environmental_info/container_deposits

The SA scheme in pictures here: http://www.epa.sa.gov.au/xstd_files/Container%20deposit/Brochure/recycling_diagram.pdf

South Australia has recycled billions of drink containers while other states have simply allowed them to pollute their rivers, creeks, ocean foreshores and surrounding landscape while procrastinating on the issue. It has not been easy; the major players in the beverage industry including Coca-Cola Amatil, the Grocery and Food Council of Australia plus the recycling industry and several vested interests organisations have all been determined to block such a move including threatening multi-million dollar campaigns against any political party that has the courage to announce it!


As a Councillor on Liverpool City Council, I have written to numerous Politicians over the last six years and ensured Liverpool City Council and the NSW Local Government Association (NSWLGA) fully supported the proposed scheme.

More information on the story here: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/premier-mike-baird-pushes-cash-for-cans-scheme-to-clean-up-environment-20150103-12h1dd.html

More information on our website here: https://lcit.com.au/harbour-pollution/


Drink Containers accumulated via storm water drainage + video link of the site.

This photo taken in 2011 shows a small portion of Bedwell Park lake near Horningsea Park (Suburb of Liverpool) where hundreds of drink containers lined the foreshores of the lake, they had accumulated over 3 years arriving via street drainage that feed into the lake.  Council and Cleanup Australia Day volunteers regularly removed them, unfortunately the 1000’s of metal drink containers that have sunk to the bottom of the lake will remain there. Sadly, without a worthwhile value placed on these, no-one will bother to collect them. That is why a Drink Container Deposit Scheme is necessary and has proven to be the most practical and viable system implemented around the globe. (Click on photo for a short video taken at the site in 2011.)

More information on our website here: https://lcit.com.au/harbour-pollution/

News article in the Liverpool Champion: http://www.liverpoolchampion.com.au/story/2813546/bottle-scheme-welcomed-by-liverpool-councillor/?cs=1213

and article link to;

Jeff Angel,
National Convener, Boomerang Alliance;
Executive Director,
Total Environment Centre:  www.boomerangalliance.org.au

Why 10 cent drink container/refunds work in today’s world

Postscript: July 2016.

The Container Deposit Scheme will become a reality in NSW in July 2017 but the good news is that Queensland will also introduce it in 2018. Victoria will then be the only state on eastern side without it, hopefully not for long.

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6 Responses to Drink Container Deposit Scheme – a reality for NSW?

  1. Skeptic says:

    What’s more interesting is the fact that: “Lion donated $47,000 to the NSW Liberals at the 2011 election and $65,800 to the federal (Liberals) campaign last year.” Around half of those amounts went to Labor, so it’s really no surprise that the Feds didn’t implement a National Container Deposit Levy is it? Imagine how many thousands of unskilled jobs that would have created? But, it’s probably much easier to keep unskilled workers on the dole and waste Billions of $ instead of doing something useful for both the environment and creating jobs of value instead of feeding the soul destroying dole!

    I hope I’m wrong, but the skeptic in me suggests that NSWs’ scheme will be “watered down” (compared to that of SA and NT) to appease opposing vested interests!

  2. Peter Harle says:

    Article well worth reading by
    Kirsty Needham
    State Politics Editor, The Sun-Herald

    Beverage giants Carlton and United, Lion and Coca-Cola colluded in a secret plan to attack the Baird government’s proposed cash for containers recycling scheme, leaked emails reveal. Refer to this article.

    Disappointing how far greedy companies colluded to prevent the implementation of a Container deposit scheme in NSW, Victoria and NT. But what is really disappointing is the billions of drink containers that could have been recycled instead ending up in land fill, creeks, rivers and oceans, often leading to the cruel death of countless living things because of a “handling fee” of less 0.5 cents per 12 containers the Beverage Industry is unwilling to pay, if the SA system were to be implemented.
    How utterly disappointing!

  3. Peter Harle says:

    It’s also worth reading WA Senator Scott Ludlum; “Environment Protection (Beverage Container Deposit and Recovery Scheme) Bill 2010” support speech in Federal Parliament during the debate of a National Container Deposit Scheme, he points out the deception and intimidation by the “Anti Drink Container lobby” including Coca Cola Amatil, Schweppes, Lion Nathan etc., and their connections to the Grocery and Food Council of Australia.

  4. Peter Harle says:

    Thanks Signe, hopefully my small input had some effect, Jeff Angel, convener of the Boomerang Alliance of 31 environmental groups that support the introduction of container deposits have kept up the momentum of the campaign. There are numerous others as well, including the NSW Local Government Association representing all Councils and Shires in NSW.

  5. Signe says:

    The voices of tens of thousands of New South Welshmen and women has been heard. The hope is that the decision is binding and long term, not simply as the cynic in me suggests just in time for an election. Peter should be commended for pushing it ahead in Liverpool council, it’s a real shame that the voice of our residents isn’t being heard on other significant issues that will be inhibiting the life and wellbeing of many Liverpudlians but their impact on the elections is minimal at a state level. One step at a time I guess. Thanks for sharing the information Peter.

  6. Henry Jacotine says:

    Dear Peter, congratulation for maintaining a heart for keeping Liverpool and its suburbs clean, decent and free from rubbish and litter, etc.
    Also thanks for always showing an interest in keeping our waterways clean and free from rubbish, litter and especially the “dreaded empty cans and bottles.” These objects were not only unsightly but they also polluted our water ways, streams, rivers, lakes, etc. Ultimately that led to marine animals dying from our negligence.

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