Proposed Vic cash for cans scheme unveiled

Benita Kolovos
·2-min read

Victorians are being encouraged to have their say on the state's long-awaited container deposit scheme, due to be rolled out in 2023.

Under a proposal put forward by the state government, Victorians will receive 10 cents for every empty can, small bottle and carton they drop off at a collection point.

Collection points will include shops, vending machines and drive through depots.

There are also plans for pop-up collection points at music festivals and other special events.

Under the proposed model, the Victorian government will provide regulatory oversight, while the beverage industry will be involved in managing the operation of the scheme.

One or more network operators will also be appointed by the government to manage collection points and refunds.

The proposed model will provide opportunities for a range of organisations to manage collection points including community groups, charities and sporting clubs.

Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio said drink cans and bottles make up almost half of all the litter in Victoria.

"The CDS will reduce waste, provide opportunities for local businesses and community groups and create hundreds of jobs," she said in a statement.

She urged Victorians to provide the government with feedback on the proposed model.

"This is an exciting opportunity for all Victorians to play a role in how our new CDS will work to improve our recycling system, cut waste and reduce litter in our environment," Ms D'Ambrosio said.

"Cash for cans and bottles provides a great incentive to do the right thing and dispose of litter correctly for the sake of our environment and the benefit of all Victorians."

Victoria is the only state or territory without a container deposit scheme, though both the state government and opposition have committed to introducing one.

The Boomerang Alliance - a group of more than 50 organisations committed to zero waste in Australia - said the government was on the right track with its proposed scheme.

"The government's preferred approach encourages the beverage companies to be accountable for the pollution they produce and also creates an independent operator whose focus is on maximising refund points," director Jeff Angel said.

Mr Angel urged Victorians to participate in the consultation process.

"There is no doubt the beverage giants will fight for their own, inferior version," he said.

"In states where the beverage giants have run the CDS we have seen lower container returns, and it's essential that the beverage industry's focus on retaining profits does not contaminate the scheme's capacity to offer the best level of refund service.''

Almost 45,000 people have signed the Boomerang Alliance's change.org petition to stop beverage companies such as Coca-Cola Amatil and Lion from running the Victorian scheme.

For more information and to have your say about the cash-for-cans scheme go to: engage.vic.gov.au/container-deposit-scheme.