i am loathe to gripe about those involved in efforts to maintain a solid music scene here in canberra, and i am truly grateful to those who run events so save us all the pain of travelling to sydney or melbourne to see some good bands. but i do have a complaint about a new trend in the already OTT prices of food drinks etc at events – the ‘recycling deposit’ on drinks at stonefest at the university of canberra on Saturday.
the deal is you get charged $1 per can under the guise of ‘recycling deposit’, which you can get back when you take the cans back to the bar – but only as a refund on any other drinks purchased. of course in buying those drinks you pay another $1 can a drink so essentially at the end of the day you get ripped off (by not being able to get back your deposit) however many cans you bought in the last round. seriously, you’re already charging $10 a can so to whack another buck on top in the name of recycling? also because you couldn’t take the cans back and get your $1 back you paid as a ‘deposit’. this is surely illegal – by not enabling customers to get back a ‘recycle deposit’ without spending more money/buying more alcohol.
At Saturday’s stonefest there was also a limit of 4 cans returned at one time although the first trip back to the bar i did manage to return 14 cans (12 of them being cans thrown on the ground by randoms which i collected en route to the bar) in one go to a staff member who wasn’t aware of the 4 can limit – and to be honest neither did i at the time. but after that first transaction there was a 4 cans return only policy enforced.
As a festival organiser you are either serious about encouraging recycling and reduction of rubbish around the venue, in which case a recycle deposit is an excellent idea but if you are serious, why on earth have a recycle return limit?? the limit to me suggests you are not serious at all and you are instead – under a thinly veiled environmental/cleanliness guise – in fact price gouging from your customers which you are well aware most of them will be too lazy or sh!!tfaced to return the cans they buy. i am genuinely interested in someone involved explaining the policy or if anyone else can think of a justification for it.
anyway grumbling about this admittedly fairly petty matter aside – it was a fantastic day and lineup, despite the torrential rain. glad i took my gortex 🙂