Environment Groups welcome 10c recycling refunds for WA

Media Release - 17 August 2016

Environment Groups welcome 10c recycling refunds for WA

Environment groups strongly welcomed the announcement by the Barnett Government that a 10c recycling refund scheme for beverage containers will be introduced in Western Australia.

The announcement follows similar commitments by Queensland and NSW governments and points to an emerging national recycling refund scheme.

Conservation Council Director Piers Verstegen said “This proven and popular recycling program has enormous benefits for the environment, the community and the economy.

“We welcome the announcement from Premier Barnett and Environment Minister Albert Jacob that WA will join the other states in adopting a 10c refund scheme.

“Recycling rates in WA have historically been very low. Estimates are that only 20% of cans and bottles sold in WA are recycled, compared with over 80% in South Australia which has had a refund scheme operating for years.

“That means 80% of drink containers sold here in WA end up littering the environment, polluting the ocean or wasted in landfill.

“This is a huge waste of resources and an unnecessary impact on the environment that can be easily avoided.

“Recycling refunds are highly popular in WA, with previous polling showing that nearly 90% of the community supports the initiative.

“Refunds make even more sense here in WA because they will boost the economy and employment by supporting local plastics and glass recycling businesses.

“Currently, plastics collected for recycling in WA are shipped to Asia and glass to South Australia because we don’t collect volumes that would support local reprocessing.

“A recycling refund scheme would change this by dramatically lifting the recovery rate for glass and plastic bottles as well as aluminum cans. This would create new jobs and business opportunities here in WA.”

Piers Verstegen – 0411 557 892