Wanted: A Container Deposit Scheme

I grew up in South Australia, where a bottle deposit scheme has been running very successfully since the 70’s.  The Australian Greens have started a campaign for the next COAG meeting, and they intend to deliver my letter to all the Environment Ministers in a bottle!

Here is the letter that I personalised and sent to our Federal Environment Minister;

Dear Minister Garrett,

I support the Greens legislation to introduce a 10c returnable deposit on all disposable drink containers across Australia.  As a concerned citizen, I believe that this type of legislation is essential in helping us clean up our act!

Every year, Australians use and throw about 11 billion drink containers. A 10 cent levy on all recyclable containers will be good for the environment and the economy, with research showing that a national container deposit scheme will:
– Cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a million tonnes a year, the equivalent to switching 135,000 homes to 100% renewable energy
– Save enough water to supply more than 30,000 Australian homes
– Improve air quality equivalent to taking 56,000 cars off the road
– Significantly reduce litter
– Create 1000 direct jobs in a sustainable industry

I am among the 90% of Australian’s who support this scheme and are willing to pay for it.

I live in Melton West, Victoria, however I grew up in South Australia when the state scheme was introduced in the 70’s.  Even now, when I go back to visit relatives, it is the cleanest state I have ever seen.  It even kept me in pocket money every weekend as I collected bottles after the local football match and it helped instil a deep sense of caring and respect for all of the natural wonders in our beautiful country.  Now that has to be worth 10 cents per bottle!

I urge you to put the Environment Protection (Beverage Container Deposit and Recovery Scheme) Bill 2009 on the agenda at the Environment Protection and Heritage Council meeting in November and finally take the steps necessary to establish a national container deposit scheme.

Yours Sincerely,


cc: A copy of this message has been sent to the Environment Minister in my State.

If you would also like to join in this worthwhile campaign, here is the link to the form mail.


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  1. says

    As a resident of S.A. I have been collecting cans for years. Squish them down flat and store in a Chicken feed sack, keeping a tally of how many, as I go. When I have 3 or 4 sacks full they are taken to the re-cycling depot and “cashed in”
    Now the deposit has been raised to 10c. (from 5c) and I am amazed at how many people still toss drink containers from their car.
    I will bend my back to pick up the odd 10c any day.

  2. says

    I’ve lived in SA for a few years now and think the scheme is wonderful. I do hope they introduce it in the rest of the country. What is also needed is recycle bins next to every public bin so more people would recycle when out in public. Unfortunately I suspect they would get filled with non-recyclable rubish because so many people don’t care…

  3. says

    Thanks Gav,

    Will chekc it out tomorrow morning and get on it. It’s something I think about very often. In Canada we always get the $ for the bottles. Great incentive to recycle. xo Meagan.

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