Drink Container Levy

Status update:

NSW Government promises to introduce a Container Deposit System in NSW on the 1st of December 2017.

Finally! The Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) will finally become a reality in NSW on December 1st 2017. It’s been 45 years since its implementation in South Australia. Since 1974 more than 80% of all drink containers used were returned and processed. The scheme resulted in an industry generating some 600 full-time jobs and 6000 part-time. It has taken NSW all of 45 years to follow that example, in the meantime billions of drink containers corrode in landfills and line the bottom of creeks, rivers and oceans, leaving behind a toxic legacy that will continue for centuries. The packaging industry has a lot to answer for, the public need to continue to make them responsible, at least in part, to provide incentives to return and recycle the packaging they produce. LCIT Councillor Peter Harle has been advocating a  CDS scheme for several decades:

Events of historical significance;

Australian Senate squashes support for a National Container Deposit System.

Councillor Peter Harle JP

Councillor Peter Harle JP

On the 13th of September 2012, the Senate (Federal Government) squashed support for a National Container Deposit Legislation scheme also knows as “Environment Protection (Beverage Container Deposit and Recovery Scheme) Bill 2010” claiming it is not the responsibility of the Federal Government, but that of the State Governments. Results of the division was 10 for and 33 against. Several Liberal and Labor Politicians spoke against the proposed Bill introduced by WA Greens Senator Scott Ludlum, to read what Senator Ludlum had to say click on the link below;

“Environment Protection (Beverage Container Deposit and Recovery Scheme) Bill 2010”

It’s also a pity that most of the media did not report on that decision. So once again State Governments, with the exception of SA and NT, procrastinate on the issue of introducing a refundable drink container deposit scheme despite the fact that every Local Council, Shire and community group is calling for such action.  It seems that State and Federal politicians don’t care about our creeks, rivers and beaches that are left at the mercy of uncaring people, it shows that most of our politicians only pay lip service to environmental issues, but do little to support it!

Over the years I have asked NSW State Premiers including Barry O’Farrell to consider introducing a similar scheme to that in SA.  The usual response is that someone is “looking into it”. Well, in this case the Federal Government has decided against supporting a National Scheme, so how about it Premier, do you have what it takes to get it off the ground in NSW or are you also intimidated by the Beverage and recycling Industry? Obviously little changed during his tenure.

To be fair, I later tried to convince NSW MP Rob Stokes, then Minister responsible for the environment and Heritage if he would consider convincing his Parliamentary colleagues in implementing a CDS scheme, he assured me he would try. He did as promised and in my opinion was the driving force for its eventual implementation in 2017.


Drink Containers line edges of Bedwell Park Lake at Horningsea Park NSW

Click on photo for a “youtube” video of the affected area.



Harbour Pollution  – NSW Government irresponsibility on display!

For many years I have been an active campaigner for a drink container levy.  It is a shame that Governments of both major political parties, are unable to implement an effective means of reducing the plastic garbage dumped into our environment. Despite Liverpool City Council lobbying bordering State Members over the last year, few if any have had the will or even the courtesy of explaining why they do or do not support such a scheme. Particularly when the South Australian model has proven to be the most cost effective method of any state and has done so since 1975!

A recent TV program showed just how bad the situation is, but no-one, either from the State or Federal Government seems to have a plan, why not simply implement  the SA model in every state?  That would immediately cause up to 98% of all drink containers yet to be manufactured to be recycled. But once again it appears vested interests have managed to influence Governments into doing nothing.

At a Federal Level the PM could implement a National Scheme which I’m sure all parties would agree to, so why have they not done so?  Is the Drink Container Manufacturing Lobby Group that powerful?

All States, except SA, have a deplorable record of recycling drink containers, rarely do any achieve more than a 35% recovery rate, the rest end up on our beaches, in the harbour or at the bottom of lakes or in land fill. You don’t have to be a member of any environmental political party to believe in a healthy environment, this is an issue that needs to be addressed irrespective of politics and soon!

For more information on recycling and the proposed National Scheme follow this link:

Update on the NSW Container Deposit Scheme: November 2017