Photo © Toby Hutcheon
On 22 July, in partnership with Boomerang Alliance, Wildlife Queensland welcomed the State Government’s announcement that it will introduce a Container Deposit Scheme (cash for containers) in Queensland, describing it as a great leap forward for litter reduction, wildlife protection and recycling.
“The fact is that beverage containers represent a large part of all litter. The introduction of a scheme could reduce litter in Queensland by 50 percent, and the impacts of dangerous plastic pollution of the environment,” said Toby Hutcheon, spokesperson for both organisations.
“Cash for containers is a proven scheme and will slash litter rates, increase recycling across the state, create hundreds of jobs in collection and re-processing and provide a financial boost to community organisations interested in collecting cans and bottles,” he said.
In Queensland we use over 2.4 billion beverage containers every year. Most are either landfilled or littered. In South Australia, which has a container deposit scheme, over 80 percent of containers are recycled.
“With New South Wales set to introduce a cash for containers scheme in 2017, this decision means that New South Wales and Queensland can cooperate in addressing container litter once and for all,” said Hutcheon. “We hope this joint action will encourage other states such as Victoria and Western Australia to follow suit.”
According to the CSIRO, South Australia, with its cash for containers scheme, has the least amount of plastic and container litter in Australia and the scheme is overwhelmingly popular.
“We pay tribute to the many local groups and thousands of people in metro and regional Queensland who have campaigned for many years. Our organisations also welcome the support of the QLD LNP, the Independents and the Speaker of the Queensland Parliament in backing a cash for containers scheme. Bipartisanship has made a big difference,” Hutcheon said.
With recent Queensland polls showing 85 percent support for cash for containers and 73 percent concern about plastics in the environment, Wildlife Queensland now calls on all sectors of the community to get involved with this proven and effective measure.