Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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HomeIssue 18Consumers to pay for flawed container deposit tax

Consumers to pay for flawed container deposit tax

Sir – The announcement by the Northern Territory Government that it will reinstate its failed Cash for Containers Scheme means that consumers will bear the cost of what is effectively a tax on drink containers.
Ultimately all consumers and taxpayers will foot the bill for the scheme, at a time when they are faced with ever increasing cost of living pressures.
The reinstatement is effectively a tax on glass and plastic drink containers, which will push up an average family’s grocery bills by around $300 a year.
The NT Government’s decision to continue will not correct the numerous flaws in the legislation, which have resulted in ongoing commercial disputes, proven shaky legal underpinnings and only increased costs for consumers with questionable environmental benefits.
The NT Government found the cost of around $1m per month to run the scheme unaffordable and it is now effectively shifting this cost onto consumers.
Industry wants more recycling and less litter and we have a plan to deliver it at no cost to consumers. That’s the plan that Australia needs and wants [and that is] an efficient, convenient and modern alternative that would deliver better environmental outcomes at no cost to Territorians.
Gary Dawson, CEO 
Australian Food and Grocery Council
[ED – We asked Mr Dawson what the “convenient and modern alternative” is. We were invited to go to this site.]


  1. Congratulations to the NT government and comunity for succeeding in reinstating the Cash for Containers program.
    The Food and Grocery Council, Coca Cola et al have had plenty of opportunity to prove their case and influence politicians – but failed at every turn.
    For example their claim a container deposit system will impose a $300 hit to the family budget has been discredited. It is allegedly based on the NT experience, but their assumption that the price of every drink will rise by 20cents if we had a national CD system is wrong – never happened in the NT (many prices were much lower) nor South Australia.
    And the CD scheme being proposed for Australia and other states will be based on efficient systems such as no brand splits and extensive use of reverse vending machines like the one in Nightcliffe Shopping Centre, Darwin, which handles tens of thousands of containers every week.
    The alternatives proposed by the AFGC could never achieve the great recycling and container litter reduction levels of a container deposit system.


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