Western Australia’s leading climate change and conservation groups have welcomed the start of WA’s long-promised 10c recycling refund scheme for drink containers today.
The scheme is expected to dramatically increase the recycling of empty beverage containers which will reduce carbon pollution, cut littering, and create jobs in recycling industries.
Clean State spokesperson Maggie Wood congratulated the McGowan Government and Environment Minister Stephen Dawson on the start of the scheme.
“The WA recycling refund program is an excellent example of practical action on climate change that creates real jobs and for West Australians and exciting opportunities for local business.
“New jobs will be created running and building the network of collection points across the state and the materials collected will support new recycling trades to becomes established here in WA.
“The Clean State Jobs Plan identifies recycling and the shift to a ‘circular economy’ as a major area of opportunity to cut pollution and create WA jobs at the same time.
“It is exciting to see this milestone being reached with the start of a 10c refund scheme for WA.”
Conservation Council Director Piers Verstegen also welcomed the scheme, which he predicted would reduce litter and dramatically improve WA’s recycling record.
“Here in WA, recycling has been languishing for years with over two-thirds of drink containers either being landfilled or ending up littering the environment.
“The Containers for Change scheme will lift the recycling rate very quickly because people will have an incentive to recycle for the first time in WA.
“The challenge now will be to ensure that returned containers are reprocessed here in WA, in local reprocessing facilities which have the potential to create even more jobs and reduce pollution even further. Continuing to send this material overseas or interstate for reprocessing is a lost opportunity for WA.
“It will also be important to ensure that the collection network expands so that recycling targets are met and returning empty containers is convenient for all consumers.
“The design of the Containers for Change collection network is somewhat experimental and will need to develop further over time. Ultimately the success of the scheme will depend on the convenience of the collection network, so it will be critical to continue monitoring the scheme to get this right.
“After years in the making, it is exciting to see this scheme come into operation here in WA. We can look forward to a cleaner environment with reduced litter and pollution, and more clean jobs for WA working families.”