Keep Australia Beautiful defends relationship with Coke

Environmental group, Keep Australia Beautiful, has hit back at critics by stating that without its partnership with Coke, the organisation would not be able to deliver effective ‘community outcomes’.

A recent article published by the SMH stated that Coca-Cola provides almost of quarter of the groups funding each year, and that Keep Australia Beautiful’s chief executive, Peter Mclean together with a representitive from Coke, had visited 10 members of parliament over the past six months to discuss alternative recycling methods to the 'cash-for-cans' container deposit scheme.

Mclean stressed that the group was formed with a vision to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for both the environment and industry.

“There is nothing to defend, it is well known that Keep Australia Beautiful works in partnership with industry and corporate Australia to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes, Coca Cola is one of these partnerships.  We use this funding to distribute community recycling grants across Australia. Without such partnerships, KAB simply wouldn’t be able to deliver these community outcomes,” said McLean.

“We aren’t activists, we work in partnership and wield our influence by working in collaboration, we keep people and organisations at the table and our door is always open.  This is our heritage and this is what our founder Dame Phyllis Frost would be proud to see us doing, this was her ideals which continue today.”

Keep Australia Beautiful is in stark contrast to other environmental groups who advocate for a national container deposit scheme including The Boomerang Alliance.

Keep Australia Beautiful states that a container deposit scheme is a costly approach which would incur $300 in annual costs to consumers, while The Boomerang Alliance argues that its version is far more industry-friendly and cost effective than the container deposit schemes currently in place in SA and the NT.

“The industry needs to know that there are a range of costs under different models, one is being designed to be industry-friendly which is ours,” said Dave West, national policy coordinator at the Boomerang Alliance.

 “The collection is not at a depot, it’s actually at the shopping centre carpark, and the retailer gets paid for doing that because they have to do a job.”

According to West the Boomerang Alliance’s scheme self funds and runs at a small surplus for security. He said the CDS is based on similar models used in Hawaii and California.  


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