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Cash for Containers: A Solution to Pollution Choking Tasmania’s Clean Image

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 8 Nov 2012

"The atrocious amount of rubbish found around this state is an ugly problem Tasmanians ignore too often,” Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson stated earlier today.

"It’s not just that it looks bad and is blot on our supposed clean green image, it’s potentially very harmful to the environment.

"The litter we frequently find is beverage containers, much of it plastic. 

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“It’s thrown out the window, often finding its way into our water ways and oceans and is toxic to marine life.

"The key point is that if this rubbish was worth something, if these bottles had a dollar value on them, they wouldn’t be lying around - someone would have an incentive to collect them.

“A connection between cash for container schemes and lower levels of marine plastic pollution was one of the issues discussed in an Australian Greens initiated Senate Inquiry in Adelaide yesterday.

“The inquiry was looking at some of the bottle necks to establishing and rolling out a national cash for containers scheme.

“The South Australian container deposit program has achieved up to an 84% recycling rate on all beverage containers consumed, the highest recycling rate in Australia.

“South Australians are very proud of this achievement and strongly support the export of this scheme to states such as Tasmania.

“Based on what I have learnt from this inquiry, I am confident a national scheme could be funded entirely from private investment, and run efficiently at a much lower cost than existing schemes.

“It has the potential to revolutionise recycling in this country and create thousands of new jobs.

It will also mean less plastic in our waterways and lower levels of plastic entering the food chain. We've all seen disturbing pictures of dead sea-birds with stomachs full of bottle caps.

“The big bottlers need to get behind this proposal and help to meet the expectations of the majority of Australians who are on record as supporting such a proposal.”

 

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