Australians use and throw away about 1.4 million beverage containers an hour, and less than half are recycled. Tomorrow will provide an opportunity for the Government show they are prepared to put an end to this extraordinary waste of resources.
On the eve of the meeting of the Federal, State and Territory environment ministers, the Australian Greens have urged the Government to commit to introducing a national container deposit system rather than subjecting the proposal to yet another review.
Greens spokesperson on waste Senator Scott Ludlam said far too much time had been wasted and decisive action was needed now to boost recycling and slash waste.
"Almost one year ago the Environment Protection and Heritage Council - the body previously responsible for this issue - said we should expect a consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on how to deal with packaging waste by the end of 2011. We've had two Senate inquiries, countless reports supporting container deposits, then yet another year of analysis.
"Tomorrow Environment Minister Tony Burke needs to extract himself from under this mountain of paperwork, emerge from his meeting with State and Territory environment ministers and announce that a national container deposit scheme is the way forward."
Senator Ludlam said South Australia's use of container deposits for more than 30 years was a case study in the success of the system.
"Australians use more than 12 billion drink containers every year. Every day the Commonwealth delays the introduction of a national container deposits system means an extra nine million recyclable containers - each day - going into landfill or being left as litter."
Senator Ludlam said that Coca-Cola Amatil's disgusting and self-serving plan to intimidate the Northern Territory into abandoning their recently introduced container deposit system strengthened the case for decisive action at the national level.
"This giant company is threatening legal action against the Territory in order to dodge its own responsibilities. A national system would put a definitive end to that cynical ploy," said Senator Ludlam.
Media Contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302