That Empty Might be Worth Some Coin

Despite those claims from Governments and experts in in the 70’s that having container refunds did nothing environmentally and simply created even more litter disposal issues than they solved, the Parliament this week has moved to make everything old new again.

The State’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill passed state parliament this week, with bipartisan support.

And according to Environment Minister Steven Miles that means Queenslanders can look forward to cleaner parks, beaches and public areas.

The Minister says the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill 2017 that introduces Queensland’s container refund scheme and plastic shopping bag ban will stop the scourge of plastic shopping bags, and put a price on beverage containers so they get recycled.”

“This reflects the overwhelming community support for both the refund scheme and the plastic bag ban which will both come into effect on July 1 2018.”

The container refund scheme will see most drink containers between 150ml and 3 litres eligible for a 10-cent refund (although some containers are exempt, such as containers for plain milk, wine and pure juice).

Refunds will be available when empty eligible containers are returned to designated container refund points across the state. Reverse vending machines are likely to play a significant role in people’s ability to access the refund.

CEO of Waste Recycling Industry Association (Qld) Inc, Rick Ralph, says the association strongly supported the introduction of the scheme.

“The introduction of this scheme gives every Queenslander access to a recycling system for used containers. Until now unless you have a kerbside collection system recycling in remote and regional areas has been very limited. That limitation will be removed, enabling new jobs and greater community engagement through a CRS system.”

“It will make such a tremendous difference to the environment.”

The ban on all lightweight single use plastic bags-including degradable and biodegradable bags, and will significantly reduce the threat they pose to wildlife.