Push for drink container refunds in WA – A bonus for cyclists?

The Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA) is running a petition titled “Fight for 10c back on bottles and cans.” This is a call for 10 cent refunds on glass, aluminium and plastic discarded drink containers.

NT gets it right on drink container recycling

The Northern Territory gets it right on drink container recycling

From a cyclists perspective such a 10-cent recycling refund for drink container scheme has the potential to reduce broken glass and other hazards so frequently found on shared paths and in the shallows on roads. I am sure we all are familiar with the good old glass introduced flat tyre.

Such a scheme as the 10-cent recycling refund for drink container has the potential to reduce the risks for cyclists but it also has greater positives for both the environment and the community.

As the Conservation Council of Western Australia points out, South Australia has achieved some great outcomes with their discarded drink container recycling program. These outcomes include:

  • A recycling rate four times that of Western Australia’s
  • Support for charities and community groups – South Australian Scouts raise more than $9 million are year by collecting bottles and cans
  • Creation of employment opportunities.

Please consider supporting this petition. If you wish you can sign the petition at the Conservation Council of Western Australia website. The wording of the petition/email is as follows:

I wish to make comment on the Packaging Impacts Consultation Regulation Impact Statement

I believe that a 10-cent recycling refund for drink containers is the only effective way to tackle Australia’s growing problem with packaging waste and litter.

The beverage industry’s alternative – placing recycling bins in public places – will not work and cannot take the place of a proven recycling refund solution that is already working in many countries.

Placing recycling bins in public places will do nothing to reduce litter. These bins become contaminated and vandalised and are a huge burden on the finances of local government. On the other hand, a recycling refund scheme will save money for local councils, reduce litter and pay people to do the right thing when they recycle.

For years, under the National Packaging Covenant, recycling targets have not been met. We cannot let ineffective solutions and flawed industry schemes distract us any longer.

The Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) makes it clear the main packaging problem is beverage containers with overall recycling well below 50%, and away-from-home recovery at about 22%.  Beverage containers need to be the priority for action.

A container deposit scheme will cost less than half a cent per container and will generate new sustainable recycling industries, jobs and investments. A recycling refund scheme also has the potential to support a network of recycling drop-off centres that could be used to collect electronic goods and other valuable waste material for recycling.

The RIS says a container deposit scheme is expensive because it requires investment in new infrastructure – but this is investment by the private sector in recycling systems, which should be encouraged instead of treated as a cost.

It’s important for the community to participate in recycling, but they have to know it will benefit the environment. Only a container deposit scheme delivers clean material for recycling so we can save maximum energy and resources and reduce pollution globally and in our communities.

In the meantime if you see a hazard to cyclists on the road and paths including broken glass, please report it. There are a number of reporting options all documented here. Personally I use Neatstreets which is an application on my Google Nexus smartphone.  This means I can report the hazard  at the time I come across it, without having to remember the details for later on. Only takes a moment or two.

Your Turn To Talk

I hope you liked this post! Please do stop by the comment section below and share your thoughts on the call for a container deposit scheme with the rest of us.

I am always interested in others views so please do share your thoughts by leaving a comment below 🙂

2 Responses to Push for drink container refunds in WA – A bonus for cyclists?

  1. Mika October 25, 2012 at 11:50 AM #

    Hi Great article.

    I would like to use this photo for a flyer can you please contact me and let me know if that is possible.

    Many thanks

    • Aushiker October 26, 2012 at 8:34 PM #

      Sorry cannot help you with approval as not the copyright owner.

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