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WA’s rotten record on littering can be turned around by container deposits

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 17 Sep 2013

New figures showing Western Australians are the worst litterers in the nation once again demonstrate the need for a container deposits system in WA, the Greens said today.

Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said Keep Australia Beautiful's National Litter Index for 2012-13 showed the volume of litter in Western Australia was 71 per cent above the national average, but could be greatly reduced by adopting a South Australian-style cash for containers system.

"According to the previous Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index, containers only made up four per cent of all litter found in South Australia - and in 2011 the ABS showed South Australia recycles 66.3 per cent of its rubbish. These are the kinds of rates Western Australia could achieve with container deposits.

"In states without container deposits, beverage containers make up almost a third of litter.

"Recent ABS figures also showed Western Australia sending more than 70 per cent of our rubbish to landfill - a terrible rate.

"Container deposits would also provide economic benefits, with community groups such as the Scouts raising funds through container collections, unredeemed deposits raising money for recycling, and the improved recycling rate boosting jobs in the sector."

Senator Ludlam introduced a Bill for a national container deposit scheme in 2009. In 2012 the Liberals and Labor voted it down. The Greens intend to introduce a new national Bill, and are pursuing container deposit systems at State and Territory level.


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