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May 7, 2021

Senate backs cash for containers

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Environmental groups have welcomed yesterday’s unanimous vote in the Senate to support continued operation of the Northern Territory’s Cash for Containers program after the court win by Coca Cola two weeks ago.

The Boomerang Alliance, made up of 24 national and state environment groups said the global drink company’s action in the court was ‘deplorable’ and led to widespread community outrage.

‘The vote today in the Senate is an appropriate reflection of that and the fact that no other scheme could have achieved recycling and litter reductions to the tune of 54 million beverage containers in just one year,’ alliance national convenor Jeff Angel said.

‘We understand that moves to reinstate the NT scheme are going well at COAG level,’ Mr Angel said.

‘Despite all the misleading statements from the Food and Grocery Council, Coke and other bottlers, once a scheme begins and people see the environmental, economic and charity benefits, it’s a popular winner.

‘Coke’s actions have put local businesses and jobs at risk and if the scheme ceases, the litter will just start building up again along the roads, in creeks, bushland and the ocean.

‘Australia landfills or litters about eight billion beverage containers a year or 15,000 a minute.  The only effective and financially viable solution is a 10 cent refund (Container Deposit Scheme or CDS).

‘In a few months’ time state and federal governments and members of the packaging and beverage industry are going to have to decide if they support a national CDS or Coke.

‘ We remain open to discussing the best approach to a CDS with all parties,’ Mr Angel said.

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