Drinks industry unites against proposed container deposit scheme

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The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has backed Australian beverage producers by releasing a submission on the proposed National Container Deposit Scheme (CDS).

Proposed last month by the Senate and now under referral, the scheme will offer cash refunds for the collection of drink containers. Depending on the deposit system, containers can be returned to the manufacturers via the retailer, to designated collection depots, reverse vending machines or recovered as part of existing waste or recycling collection system.

The AFGC, Coca-Cola Amatil, Lion and other beverage companies have together released submissions on the proposed scheme, which is already in place in South Australia and Northern Territory, stating that it will significantly increase beverage prices. Some drink manufacturers have claimed that other recycling options are significantly cheaper.

In its submission, Lion cited price increases in the Northern Territory since the implementation of the scheme in January. The company said that under any implementation of a National Container Deposit Scheme, Lion would “seek to recover the costs​.”

Coca-Cola Amatil also raised concerns that South Australian bottlers were being forced to pay for separate labels.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council, meanwhile, has said that the CDS is “a very expensive option​.” The AFGC has said that it is in support of “equally effective options​” such as the Australian Packaging Covenant, a voluntary commitment by the industry to improving the recycling and disposal of packaging.

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