The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) welcomes the commencement of Victoria’s container deposit scheme (CDS) tomorrow (1 November) but believes consumer education is needed.
The Victorian container deposit scheme is the second-last scheme in the country to roll out, next to Tasmania which is experiencing delays. The CDS, according to ARA, provides “significant momentum” to sustainability issues in Victoria, such as waste reduction and onshore recycling capability, which have grown “increasingly important” for many of Australia’s retailers.
ARA CEO Paul Zahra acknowledges that the scheme is a positive step in achieving a circular economy, but urges the Victorian government to “ramp up” its awareness and education campaigns in the coming weeks.
“Responsible waste management and recycling practices are critical for the health of our environment. Container deposit schemes have potential to reduce litter and increase recycling rates, taking us one step closer to a circular economy,” he says.
“We’re conscious that due to the design of the scheme, retailers deemed the ‘first supplier’ must pay a fee to the Victorian government to distribute the container, which like other states, will mostly end up being passed onto consumers.
“With most households under cost pressure and leading into Christmas and the holiday period, it’s important to note that retailers have not chosen the timing of these increases, they are simply responding to the legislation and implementation date chosen by the Victorian government.
“We would like to see the government increase its education and consultation with the Victorian community so that consumers are aware of the costs, benefits – and impacts – of the scheme.
“Raising awareness and educating consumers is now key.”