The ACT’s Container Deposit Scheme will start on June 30 with Canberrans able to receive a 10 cent refund for empty drink containers such as aluminium cans and plastic water bottles.
However, the prices of some drinks are expected to increase at least slightly as beverage suppliers look to cover the costs of the scheme.
ACT City Services Minister Meegan Fitzharris said there will be two types of collection points – a face-to-face express service run by social enterprise organisations or charities, and bulk depots that accept larger quantities of containers.
The locations of container collection points will be rolled out over the next couple of months as charities and social enterprise organisations come on board.
“I’m excited to announce that the ACT’s Container Deposit Scheme will start on 30 June 2018, which I’m sure will be good news for local sporting groups and kids who have already started stockpiling cans and bottles,” Ms Fitzharris said.
“We have always said we would introduce a scheme as quickly as possible to align with NSW, however, we want to make sure we take our time to get it right.
“Contract agreements have now been signed between the Territory and the appointed scheme coordinator, Exchange for Change (ACT) and network operator Re.Turn-It.”
Collection points and refunds
Ms Fitzharris said the Government is using the two different types of collection points to help make the scheme more socially inclusive and accessible for Canberrans.
“The scheme will provide opportunities for container refunds to be donated to charities and offer increased economic and employment opportunities for participating collection points,” she said.
People dropping off containers at the bulk counting depots will receive cash or be given money through electronic funds transfer, while the express collection points will provide a direct payment to a nominated bank account or a donation to select charities.
“We also want to make sure industry are supported through this process, and this week we will introduce legislation to allow beverage manufacturers up to two years before they have to introduce ACT specific refund marking on their containers,” Ms Fitzharris said.
According to the CDS website, some beverage prices are expected to increase slightly because of the scheme but the ACT Government is considering price monitoring measures.
Which containers are eligible?
Container Deposit Schemes currently operate in South Australia, the Northern Territory and NSW, with the ACT’s scheme to be similar to the NSW one in terms of which containers are eligible for a refund.
Most empty beverage containers that are sized between 150 ml and 3 litres are eligible for a refund at ACT collection points.
The containers which aren’t eligible include milk, cordial, wine and spirit bottles.
The establishment of the scheme was part of the ACT Greens and ACT Labor Parliamentary Agreement, and has been welcomed by the ACT Greens.
“Last year South Australia celebrated 40 years since the introduction of the container deposit legislation,” Greens MLA and waste spokesperson Shane Rattenbury said.
“More than six billion containers have been returned under the scheme, with an average annual return of around 80 per cent. That’s a remarkable achievement and an aspiration for our city as we do our bit towards reducing waste to landfill.
“It’s especially encouraging to see that the ACT Government is taking this opportunity to learn lessons from NSW’s recent experience—including being able to accept crushed cans.”
For updates about the scheme and other information including the rollout of collection points, go to: www.actcds.com.au
Are you keen to see the scheme start? What do you think of the arrangements for how it will work? Let us know in the comments below.