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AFGC concern: container deposit legislation

Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) believes that calls for national container deposit legislation (CDL) ignore the significant costs it will impose on Australian families and appear to be based on incorrect data from the South Australian system.

Dick Wells, AFGC chief executive, said that a national CDL scheme would cost Australian consumers at least $400 million every year in addition to the $1 billion in deposits they would have to pay up front at the check-out.

“Calls for extra costs are out of step with the community when they are already paying for kerbside recycling through their council rates.”

The South Australian deposit system was extended to a wide range of beverage containers in 2003 including flavoured milk containers, but after five years the recovery rate has not moved beyond the national average of 36%.

Recovery rates for other materials are around 70% according to South Australian Premier Michael Rann (not the 90% often quoted by other parties).

Mr Wells said when you look at South Australia’s performance in terms of overall packaging recovery, the CDL system is only recovering around 20% of all the packaging materials generated in the state and that 80% is actually being recovered through household and commercial recycling collections.

For further information contact Rosie Schmedding at the AFGC.

AFGC

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