Not only are plastic bottles a major source of litter in Australia, they can break up into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics, which have devastating long-term effects on our precious environment. That being the case, the State Government is preparing to choose who will run Victoria’s much-anticipated container deposit scheme, which is set to launch in 2023 to increase recycling rates and help tackle Victoria’s litter problems.
After many years of opposing any type of refund scheme, Australia’s largest beverage companies – whose containers are the greatest source of plastic litter – have now said they’d like to be in charge of Victoria’s CDS.
Boomerang Alliance, which is Australia’s leading campaigner on waste and recycling, has other ideas. The alliance says many people don’t trust beverage companies to run the scheme, pointing out that almost 50,000 people have signed a petition opposing CDS management by large beverage companies.
Alliance director Jeff Angel said: “The big beverage companies spent millions of dollars to stop governments from implementing a CDS while allowing their bottles and cans to be littered on our beaches and in waterways. In 2019, Victorian-based Beach Patrol groups collected over 21,014kg of litter plus over 39,839 drink containers.”
Victoria is the last state to introduce a CDS, and the alliance is encouraging a more equalised approach to managing the new scheme. It is seeking support for a ‘split governance’ model similar to that adopted in NSW, where the power is shared between a network operator and a co-ordinator of industry experts and community representatives.