Request to state MPs: Victoria needs a container deposit scheme

Vicki PerrettNews

On 30 July 2018, Geelong Sustainability’s President wrote on behalf of members and supporters to our local members Lisa Neville MP, and Christine Couzens MP and Lily D’Ambrosio MP, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change urging them to support the Greens bill to introduce a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS), which is to be debated in the house in early August. 

Here’s the gist of these letters:

Geelong Sustainability (GS) is committed to seeing a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) established in Victoria ASAP. We need legislation to get our plastic waste under control and a Victorian CDS would provide an effective way to make this happen. Polls confirm most Victorians want one too.

South Australia’s refund scheme has been in place since 1977. Over the last five years WA, NSW, the NT, the ACT and QLD have all passed CDS legislation. In the first six months of the NSW scheme, over half a billion drink containers were processed, of which an estimated 160 million were prevented from becoming litter.

Victoria is now the only state without a CDS. We don’t like being laggards on important social and environmental reforms. The public no longer believes that there are any valid reasons why Victoria continues to procrastinate. Particularly when we are in the midst of a recycling crisis and the market for co-mingled recyclables has plummeted.

As a foundation partner in the Victorian Government’s TAKE2 climate change strategy, GS has been working diligently to show regional leadership on climate change. In addition to organising a wide range of grass roots activities and projects, we promised to collaborate with environmentally-focused organisations and to advocate for our community on local and global sustainability issues. Given the precious north facing coastline of Geelong and the northern Bellarine, protecting our coast, bays and waterways is vital for our community, economy and the environment.

GS is a member of the Plastic-free Victoria Alliance and we have been actively supporting their campaign for a legislated CDS. The evidence is now clear – these schemes are an effective way to increase recycling rates and to reduce waste and littering. A recent poll commissioned by Boomerang Alliance found 82% approval rate for CDS in Melbourne and 88% in regional areas. These results were consistent with previous polls.

As a volunteer run not-for-profit organisation we can also appreciate an auxiliary benefit of a CDS. The ten cents deposit would provide an invaluable revenue stream for local clubs and groups arranging clean ups or setting up community collection points. It would also take the pressure off local government waste services.
Successive Victorian state governments have chosen not to act – every year allowing millions of pieces of plastic to find their way into Port Philip Bay.

Every Australian has a responsibility to take action to reduce their plastic footprint. Geelong Sustainability does not want Victoria to continue to lag behind the rest of Australia. We are confident that neither do you. Will you say yes to a Container Deposit Scheme and support a 10c solution to marine pollution?


Petition: Say yes to CDS

You could write your own letter to your local MP explaining why Victoria’s environment needs a CDS urgently. A quick way to do this is to compose and send the email via this petition initiative, where you also have the option of using a pre-written letter template:

Learn more

This site has lots of useful information, links and inspiration on the topic: