The Australian Greens are appalled at today’s court decision to uphold Coke’s challenge to the Northern Territory container deposit scheme, or what is commonly referred to as “cash for containers”.
Senator Peter Whish-Wilson stated that the decision was a major blow for all Australians who wanted this successful scheme rolled out across the country.
“The court has today backed self-interested multinational corporations, who seek to put their shareholders’ profits first, over local communities and the environment.
“Following this decision, if another state were to introduce a similar scheme they could also be taken to court as they wouldn’t have a special exemption under the Mutual Recognition Act.
“The most obvious way around this impediment is for the Commonwealth to introduce a national scheme. Regardless, the Greens will continue to push for this legislation in parliament.
“The well-resourced blocking tactics of big beverage companies like Coke have always been a significant obstacle to the implementation of these recycling schemes that are popular throughout the world.
“If Coke thinks the fight is over, it is mistaken. Many in the community have been campaigning for over 20 years to get this national recycling scheme up and running and are determined to see it succeed.
“It will only strengthen the community’s resolve to fight for an effective recycling scheme that eliminates the litter from our waterways, oceans, beaches and landscapes.
“A 2011 EMRS poll commissioned by The Boomerang Alliance showed that 91% of Tasmanians support the implementation of Container Deposit Scheme (CDS). Cash-for-containers will create about 306 full-time and 80 part-time jobs in Tasmania (1).
“The Australian Greens will be introducing a new bill to parliament for a national container recycling scheme, and call on Minister Tony Burke to show some leadership and get behind the popular support for this initiative.
“Almost 100% of the rubbish we picked up yesterday for Clean Up Australia Day was packaging consumed out of the home. Curb-side recycling is great, but it’s not going to solve this problem.
“The fact is 80% of beverage containers would be recycled under a cash-for-containers scheme.
“This decision places additional pressure on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) who will be announcing their recommendations in relation to a national container deposit scheme on 11 April.”
1. West, D. 2011. What Container Deposits Will Do for the Tasmanian Economy, The Boomerang Alliance.