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If QLD can do it… call on states to expand 10c refunds for wine, spirits

With the inclusion of wine and spirit bottles in the Queensland 10c refund scheme on 1 November 2023, industry and environment groups have joined together to call on NSW, Western Australia, Victoria, NT and South Australia to catch up.

“Delay no more – if Qld can do it, so can you,” said the Boomerang Alliance of 55 groups, Australian Council of Recyclers and Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association (WMRRA).

Jeff Angel, director of the Boomerang Alliance was enthusiastic about the Queensland scheme’s success.

“It’s not a hard ask – and the benefits are significant including turning glass bottles back into more bottles with great circular economy savings for the environment. The Qld scheme is reporting 14% more glass bottle returns since inclusion of wine on 1 November. There’ll be more jobs too.”

Suzanne Toumbourou, CEO of Australian Council of Recyclers also commented on the benefits of wine and spirit bottle recycling.

“Expanding the scope of eligible containers to include glass wine and spirit bottles increases the supply of well sorted recovered glass, supporting high value closed loop recycling outcomes and also a lower carbon footprint for glass bottles.”

Gayle Sloan, CEO of Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia was passionate about the inclusions seen in Queensland, and called for other states to follow suit.

“WMRR has always argued national harmonisation of extended producer responsibility schemes like CDS is the best way to go. It makes compliance easier for business, reduces confusion for the community, provides high quality input for our manufacturing facilities, creates Australian green jobs and – best of all – delivers a better environmental outcome. Adding wine and spirit bottles is a no-brainer and sure to attract widespread community support. Let’s just get on with it.”

WA, SA and NSW are currently investigating a joint decision to include wine and spirit bottles in their container refund schemes, but progress has been slow. The three groups called for implementation by mid 2024.

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