Three of Australia's biggest beverage manufacturers have united to oppose the Northern Territory's 'cash for cans' recycling scheme.
Usually fierce competitors, Coca-Cola Amatil, Schwepps and Lion Co have joined forces to oppose the scheme in Federal Court.
According to the AFR, the companies are arguing that the recycling scheme, similar to what's already operating in South Australia, has pushed beverage prices up and has failed in its environmental goals, with two out of three containers sold in the Northern Territory not being recycled – a statistic well below the national average.
The scheme involves a 10c deposit on drinks, which will be returned when the can is returned to a designated recycling agent.
Coca-Cola Amatil has said if they're successful in court, the company will reduce prices for NT retailers and work to refund consumers already hit with the deposits.
The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) is also opposed to the scheme, and said yesterday's Greenpeace protest outside CCA's Sydney office is another example of the environmental lobby trying to pull the wool over consumers' eyes.
Two Greenpeace activists were arrested yesterday after yielding a banner outside the Sydney office which displayed an image of a dead albatross with its cut-open stomach full of plastic. The sign read "Brought to you by Coca-Cola."
Earlier this month Coca-Cola was accused on hampering Western Australia's efforts to improve its recycling standards, with the Conservation Council of WA arguing the company is putting its profits ahead of community concerns.
AFGC's CEO Gary Dawson said the scheme which Greenpeace and other environmental groups oppose so strongly will cost consumers at the checkout.
"All Australians need to know that the Council of Australian Governments has found the cost of this scheme will be up to $1.76 billion to the economy," he said.
"Industry wants more recycling and less litter and we have a plan to deliver it at no cost to consumers. That's the plan that Australia needs, not an inconvenient and costly drink container tax."