The National Parks Association of NSW today congratulates the Premier Mike Baird for his leadership in making public his support for a container deposit scheme to be introduced in NSW.
“Amid the inevitable howls about job losses and erosion of (mega) profits by multi-national corporations, Premier Mike Baird and Environment Minister Rob Stokes have stood up for NSW by introducing a cash for containers scheme,” said Kevin Evans, CEO of the National Parks Association of NSW.
“Container deposits work! The industry alternative of more bins in shopping centres, sports grounds, airports does not attack the main vectors of litter in the wider environment. South Australia (SA) was the first state to implement such a scheme, introducing legislation way back in 1977. Recycling will double like in South Australia creating new jobs and investment. The SA Environment Protection Agency asses the return rate of beverage containers as 79.5% with drinks containers making up only 2.2% of litter1.”
“This is a logical implementation of the polluter pays principle” said NPA Science Officer, Dr Oisín Sweeney. “We know drinks containers are a major source of litter across Australia. Other jurisdictions have shown that this scheme will dramatically reduce litter and landfill.”
Research by CSIRO has shown plastic to be abundant in the seas around Australia2 where it lasts for years and can kill marine life.
“How many of us have seen a drinks bottle or can while snorkelling or bush walking in an area that looks pristine?” Dr Sweeney added. “And how many of us would rather that container was not there? This really is a no brainer and we are delighted the NSW government is going down this route. Hopefully it can be implemented nationally as soon as possible to provide industry with policy consistency.” Concluded Dr Sweeney.
Media contact: Dr Oisín Sweeney
1 EPA South Australia. Environmental Info: Container Deposits, <http://www.epa.sa.gov.au/environmental_info/container_deposits> (2014).
2 Reisser, J. et al. Marine Plastic Pollution in Waters around Australia: Characteristics, Concentrations, and Pathways. PLoS ONE 8, e80466, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080466 (2013).