Victoria finally limping through the line to a container drop-off system – but it could accept bottles of wine
Government Andrews is seeking feedback on the final shape of Victoria’s container deposit system, with an increase in the number of collection points and an expansion of the system to include liquor bottles among the options being considered.
In February 2020, the state government pledged to implement a Container Depository System (CDS) by 2023, with enabling legislation passed by Parliament in December last year.
CDS programs are now in place in all Australian states and territories except Victoria and Tasmania. The introduction of programs in these recalcitrant states marks the final step towards establishing programs nationwide.
This despite serious proposals for the introduction of a CDS having been on the agenda for almost a decade, with former Victorian Liberal Premier Denis Napthine backing a national container deposit system. from 2013.
The nationwide plans were delayed mainly by fierce lobbying by the beverage industry, led by Coca-Cola which then sought to administer the CDS.
However, one potential national implication of Victoria’s consultation process is that Spring Street is considering the possibility of raising the bar by potentially adding new types of containers to its program, such as glass wine bottles, or offering a rate of higher refund of 20 cents per bottle. .
The state government is asking for comments until June 26 via its Engage Victoria website on:
- what types of containers are eligible
- what should be the refund amount for people returning containers
- what should be the labeling requirements for products
- the total number of collection points
- what should be the opening hours of the collection points
What the draft regulation says
The state government’s preferred option, in the proposed settlement, is a plan that is broadly consistent with what other states and territories offer, such as a 10-cent refund.
The following types of beverage containers would qualify, provided they have a capacity between 150 milliliters and 3 litres:
- non-concentrated fruit or vegetable juice
- flavored milk
- soft drink
- mixed spirits
Ineligible containers include:
- glass wine bottles
- glass liquor bottles
- juice bottles over 1 liter
- cordial bottles
- milk (other than flavored milk)
- concentrated fruit or vegetable juice
- health tonics
Under this option, the Victorian CDS will have a statewide average of one reimbursement collection point for every 11,604 people. This would include at least one collection point for every 14,500 people in Melbourne, one per regional town of 750 people and one per town of 300 people in remote areas.
This would make it slightly higher than most other states and territories:
- WA has one collection point for 12,439 people
- NSW has one for every 12,959 people
- SA has one for 14,040 people
- Queensland has one for every 16,835 people
Scope for higher standards
Along with the bill, the state government has also released a draft regulatory impact statement that examines a number of options for improving the regime, including by:
- make glass bottles of wine and spirits eligible
- increase redemption price to 20 cents
- reduce the number of collection points to one for 16,098 people
- making glass bottles of wine and spirits eligible, increasing the redemption price to 20 cents and increasing the number of collection points to one for every 9,932 people
The state government will discuss the proposals further in a series of briefings for industry, local government and the general public June 7-9.