“The Australia Greens have congratulated paper, packaging and recycling billionaire Anthony Pratt on the news his business Visy is investing $50m in a new recycled plastics plant at Smithfield in Sydney’s west,” Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson stated today.
“The Smithfield plant plans to take plastic bottles Visy presently collects from three million households and reprocess them for recycling back to new bottles - unfortunately more than 50% of plastic bottles are consumed, and often discarded, outside the household - finding their way into our water ways and precious oceans.
“While this this new initiative is a welcome step in the right direction, it will do little to solve Australia’s rubbish problem and all the substantial environmental costs associated with it.
“An Australia wide cash for containers scheme, or “container deposit legislation,” in conjunction with existing curb side recycling, could solve this rubbish problem and help Visy achieve recycling rates equivalent to the 85% we see in South Australia.
“This popular scheme would financially benefit Visy, potentially creating thousands of new jobs as well as being a win for the environment.
“A national container deposit initiative could be done at much lower cost than existing schemes in South Australia and the Northern Territory, in fact it could be cost neutral to both consumers and the beverage industry.
“I implore Mr Pratt to reject the ideological propaganda of the food and packaging Industry lobby groups, partly funded by a few of Mr Pratt’s biggest customers-Coke and Schweppes, both of who are on the record as being completely opposed to any form of container deposit scheme.
“I would also ask Mr Pratt to have a look at the facts himself, in fact I would be most happy to meet with him personally to discuss the net benefits of a scheme that is a solution to our pollution, and a no brainer for this country.”