Victoria forges its own path for CDS

2 November 2020

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) the national peak body for the waste and resource recovery industry, congratulates the Victorian government for moving one step closer to implementing its CDS scheme, and in doing so electing to forge its own pathway.

By proposing a split responsibility model the Victorian government is able to manage the inherent conflict of interest associated with higher return rates leading to increased costs for beverage suppliers. 

“Industry applauds the Victorian government for proposing a scheme that is aligned with the government and community objective of delivering the highest quality, most accessible scheme,” said Gayle Sloan, CEO of WMRR.  

Experience has taught us that the most expensive scheme, from a customer’s perspective, is one in which they cannot easily redeem their container for the refund amount, by separating responsibilities, Victoria will ensure that network operators are incentivised to maximise container return rates as well as incentivising greater variety and number of collection points, including greater use of technology.  

Industry acknowledges that there are multiple important players with distinct responsibilities in a best practice CDS, including the beverage industry, who can play a part in the governance arena and ensure equitable distribution of costs across the sector. However, to drive accessibility and community engagement, a strong scheme requires a recycling-driven approach to collection points, where that governance body is not conflicted by a primary objective of minimising costs to beverage suppliers.

'The Victorian government must be congratulated for electing to design its own pathway towards implementation, it is the more challenging route and one that will not be supported by all, however it is the best path to ensure maximum community access, maximum diverse participation and a community focused scheme that delivers for the people of Victoria," said Ms Sloan.

Victoria is taking Australia closer to a national network, providing an essential service and benefit to communities across the country. This is a significant step for Victoria, and it is one that the waste and resource recovery sector supports; the advantages of a well-run CDS are numerous and proven – it maximises recovery and recycling, reduces litter and plastic pollution, creates jobs, and generates new revenue opportunities for householders, community, and charity groups.

WMRR looks forward to working with the Victorian Government to ensure that the players who have complementary objectives to the Victorian government and community are matched to the right roles through an open and transparent appointment process.  This will see the biggest impact of a CDS for the Victorian community. 

Well done Victoria!