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Vic on “right track” with container deposits says 52 environment groups

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Communities and the environment big winners under split governance model Victoria is on track to have Australia’s best 10c refund scheme for drink containers, with the Victorian government announcing its proposal for a ‘split governance’ approach to maximise recycling, accountability and community benefits, the Boomerang Alliance of 52 environment groups.

The announcement is good news for Victoria’s community groups, charities, schools and sports organisations, as well as almost 45,000 Victorians who have signed the change.org petition to stop the state’s container deposit scheme (CDS) being controlled by the makers of Coke, XXXX Gold and Powerade.

Commenting on the announcement, Jeff Angel, Director of the Alliance, said the government had clearly done a significant amount of research before putting forward the split model as the best version for Victorians.

The government’s

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preferred approach encourages the beverage companies to be accountable for the pollution they produce, he said, and thinks this creates an independent operator whose focus is on maximising refund points so we can get the best of both worlds, with good engagement of drink companies and a clear focus on collecting as many used bottles and cans as possible.

“I’ve no doubt that many hundreds of community groups and charities will enthusiastically participate, as well as millions of Victorian households. It will be important to have a high level of convenience for people and groups to get their refunds – after all, it’s their money. There will be multiple benefits to the community and businesses including millions of dollars to charities from donated refunds and running collection points, many small business opportunities, and reduced waste management costs for pubs, clubs and restaurants,” he said.

While the Victorian government has recommended the best scheme for the community, there is no doubt the beverage giants will fight for their own, inferior version, Angel said. In states where the beverage giants have run the CDS we have seen lower container returns, and it’s essential that the beverage industry’s focus on retaining profits does not contaminate the scheme’s capacity to offer the best level of refund service.’

“Victoria needs community support now, more than ever before, to keep the CDS clean. We are preparing an information campaign – Recycle right Victoria: say yes to a clean CDS – to ensure everyone knows the facts and can participate in the consultation process over coming weeks.’’ Angel noted.“As in all other jurisdictions with a CDS – the drinks industry will be required to follow the law and participate regardless of their particular policy position.’

Victorians can express their support for the split governance CDS by signing the petition to ‘Stop Coke and Lion taking over our 10c drink container deposit schemes’ here.

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