Container recycling – positive for schools and the environment
It seems to happen despite our best intentions – the accumulation of plastic bottles. At cafes, local sport, children’s events and in the workplace, drink containers seem to pile up everywhere we go and now making up 49 per cent of all rubbish. Now, the NSW Government is taking action launching a container deposit rebate scheme to reduce plastic bottle waste.
With an estimated 160 million plastic drinking containers discarded every year into our environment and waterways, the Nationals and Liberals are tackling the issue, incentivising recycling by launching a container deposit scheme to start December 2017. A refund of 10 cents will be available for eligible containers between 150ml to 500ml at collection points around the State.
The scheme will also allow schools and community groups to fundraise through the scheme by collecting donated containers from the community. The program is the latest step in the fight against litter to achieve the NSW Government’s goal of a 40 per cent reduction in litter by 2020.
Nationals Leader and Member for Monaro John Barilaro said the initiative would be an environmental game-changer that would help to reduce container litter in community parks, streets and waterways and provide a funding kick back for community groups.
“These groups already do great work in our communities, and I know that this great new fundraising opportunity will be welcome,” he said.
Drink bottles not only pollute local areas but can travel along waterways, polluting environments downstream. Tagged bottles released in Wagga Wagga travelled up to 13km in one month, while tagged bottles in Wollongong were found 50km away from their drop points. Ultimately, many plastic bottles end up in the ocean where they degrade into microplastics. The impacts of these plastics on our foods chains are currently being investigated on a global scale.
The container deposit program has been developed in conjunction with industry and environmental groups such as Clean Up Australia. Up to 40 per cent of plastic containers will be eligible for a rebate, with all exempt plastic containers able to be recycled through local council pickups. The scheme’s exemptions mirror existing programs in other States providing continuity and less confusion for consumers.
For more information about the scheme and examples of eligible and ineligible containers, please visit http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/waste/cds-intro.htm
For information on the NSW Government’s ‘Hey, Tosser!’ campaign or to register for a litterbug, please visit www.epa.nsw.gov.au/heytosser