Victoria’s CDS path hailed a win for community and the environment

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) has applauded the Victorian government for not just moving one step closer to implementing a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) but for forging its own distinct path that will deliver a high quality, recycling-driven program.

The government announced today that it had appointed VicReturn as Scheme Coordinator and Visy, TOMRA Cleanaway, and Return-It as Network Operators.

“We congratulate the Victorian government for taking on a split responsibility model, which is certainly the more challenging route and will have its opponents, but is one that will deliver the highest quality, most accessible scheme for Victorians,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, said.

“Experience has taught us that the most expensive scheme, from a customer’s perspective, is one where people cannot easily redeem their containers for a refund. By electing for a split responsibility model, the government will be able to manage the inherent conflict of interest associated with higher return rates leading to increased costs for beverage suppliers. Instead, this proposed model will ensure that network operators are incentivised to maximise container return rates and encourage a greater variety and number of collection points while allowing multiple players, including the WARR and beverage industries, to take on distinct and important responsibilities.

“The government has shown that it understands the importance of a scheme that provides maximum access in order to build community participation, reduce litter and plastic pollution, and increase recovery and recycling. In turn, we will see more jobs and revenue opportunities for householders, community, and charity groups.

“Industry is also excited by the prospect of greater source separation of materials in Victoria through the scheme, which will enable higher value materials to be recovered, recycled, and reprocessed as inputs into new recycled products,” Ms Sloan added. “We encourage Victoria to continue down this path and continue to expand the scheme to include other containers as proposed by other Australian jurisdictions.”

“WMRR commends the government for recognising the value of materials and understanding the importance of clean source separated material streams and would encourage them to continue finding ways to improve material management and circularity, and stem out contamination altogether,” Ms Sloan concluded.