IMAGE © GREENPEACE/JORDAN
Coca Cola will be taking the Australian Northern Territory Government to court over their cash for container recycling system that has seen increased rates of recycling across the board. In the coming weeks, Environmental Ministers will decide whether or not the recycling scheme will be made National, and not without the heavy lean of gargantuan drinks conglomerate, Coca Cola.
South Australia and the Northern Territory of Australia have been pioneers of recycling through the implementation of the recycling scheme that offers 10 cents refund on each bottle recycled. In South Australia, where the recycling scheme has been in successful operation for 30 years, 80% of bottles are recycled, double the amount across all other States. Northern Territory have only just introduced the recycling program.
Australians use a whopping 14 billion drink containers per year, that’s one every two seconds. All those cans and bottles add up to a lot of waste, and if not recycled, this rubbish ends up in landfills and waterways. The Greenpeace campaign Stop Trashing Australia quotes that “Scientists estimate that between a quarter and a third of marine plastic pollution comes from the drinks industry. The problem is so severe that up to 85% of Australian marine birds are are estimated to be affected by plastics. Many of them die as a result.”
The beverage industry’s proposed alternative to the deposit refund scheme is to put more recycling bins in the street. This is nowhere near as effective or efficient because much of the recovered material is contaminated with food and other waste. It imposes additional costs on local councils who have to pay for collection, processing and transportation. The 10% deposit on containers is the only globally proven recycling scheme that works effectively. Support the change to sustainable and responsible living. Stop trashing Australia and save the treasures that are our environments and wildlife.