Container Deposit Scheme due to start 1 December – Labor concerned that NSW is not ready

In Parliament | 01.11.17

The NSW Labor Opposition is raising questions about the rollout of the NSW Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) which is supposed to start on 1 December 2017.

With one month to go, there is still no information on how many collection points will be ready to provide refunds on returned containers and no map to show where the collection points are located. 

The NSW Government promised there would be over 500 collection points across NSW with 85 per cent of those up and running by 1 December. 

But the latest information from the Environment Protection Authority suggests that only ‘a majority’ of collection points may be in place by the start date. 

Local businesses and charities interested in becoming collection points have also complained that they have had no response to their requests for information about how they can get involved. 

Labor is also concerned that rural and regional communities will not have collection points in place for many months – but will have to pay the additional costs of the beverages without being able to get refunds. 

Background: The Container Deposit Scheme in NSW is called ‘Return and Earn’ and aims to help reduce litter in NSW by 40 per cent by 2020. The EPA estimates that around 300 million containers a month will be recovered by the scheme which entitles consumers to a 10 cent refund on every returned can or bottle. Containers make up 44 per cent of all litter in NSW. 

Quotes attributable to Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe 

“Labor is a strong supporter of this scheme, but I am worried that Minister Upton is botching the rollout. 

“The community wants a container deposit scheme but they still don’t know where they will be able to take their bottles and cans for a refund. 

“Consumers in rural and regional areas look set to miss out on the much needed collection points as it appears that only half the promised collection points will be ready in time. 

“The Minister for the Environment must give consumers across NSW assurances that the collection points will be in place and that rural and regional areas will not be denied the ability to get a refund on their cans and bottles.”