Beverage companies to head NSW container-deposit scheme

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Exchange for Change, an industry joint venture consisting of Coca-Cola Amatil, Asahi, Carlton & United Breweries, Coopers and Lion, has been appointed Scheme Coordinator of the ‘Return and Earn’ container-deposit scheme (CDS), due to roll out in December.

The initiative will give customers a 10¢ refund in exchange for bottles and cans, which can be donated to charity, used as credit in store, or redeemed for cash.

As Scheme Coordinator, Exchange for Change will be responsible for ensuring the refund is paid through the network operator, TOMRA-Cleanaway, which will run a network of collection points across the state, including more than 800 reverse vending machines.

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton says the Return and Earn scheme would be a convenient and rewarding system for everyone.

“This is the biggest initiative to tackle litter in the state’s history and it will make a massive difference to the amount of rubbish on our streets, parks and waterways right across NSW,” she said.

The beverage companies behind Exchange for Change produce and/or distribute more than three quarters of the containers that will be subject to the CDS.

Coca-Cola Amatil claims it will continue to work with the industry and the NSW government to ensure the scheme “operates efficiently to minimise the impact to customers and consumers, has robust and transparent governance, and achieves the targeted environmental outcomes”.

The CDS introduces a 10-cent refundable deposit per eligible container and will also introduce administrative and handling fees to finance the scheme’s operation. It is anticipated that the administrative and handling fee will be published in mid-August.

Coca-Cola Amatil says the cost of the CDS will be subject to factors including, but not limited to, the container-redemption rate, the mix of redemption between collection points and material-recycling facilities, and the mix of packaging type.

“Amatil intends to enter into supplier arrangements with the Scheme Coordinator, and will continue to review the implications and will provide updates as appropriate,” Coca-Cola Amatil said.

The CDS is expected to be open for consumers to redeem containers from December 1, 2017. The majority of the 500 collection points across the state will be in place by this time, with the remaining reverse vending machines set to be installed by February 2018.

CDSs proposed for other territories and states are expected to start as follows – ACT, early 2018; Queensland, July 2018; and Western Australia, 2019.

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