AUSTRALIA – The Australian beverage industry has banded together to protest the proposed National Container Deposit Scheme (CDS), claiming that it will effectively raise prices.
Proposed in October by the Senate, the CDS intends to offer cash refunds for beverage containers collected. Depending on the deposit system, containers can be returned to manufacturers either via retail channels, designated collection depots, reverse vending machines, or recovered as part of existing waste or recycling collection systems.
The scheme is already in place in South Australia and Northern Territory.
However, beverage companies such as Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA), Lion, as well as the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) have together released submissions on the proposed scheme, stating that CDS will raise beverage prices significantly.
For example, Lion said that since CDS was implemented in the Northern Territory in January this year, prices of drink products have increased. The brand owner warned that should a National CDS be implemented, Lion would “seek to recover the costs”.
In South Australia, CCA said that bottlers were also being forced to pay for separate labels.
Some of the brand owners added that there are cheaper recycling options available.
Calling the CDS “a very expensive option”, AFGC cited recent research by economists which showed that if the CDS was implemented nationally, “it would cost Australian families $300 extra in their shopping baskets each year.”
AFGC suggests that “equally effective options” such as the Australian Packaging Covenant – a voluntary industry commitment to improve packaging disposal and recycling – should be used instead.