Tasmania to start container refund scheme

The Tasmania Government has announced a container refund scheme will begin operating in the island state by 2022.

Most Australian jurisdictions now operate a container refund or container deposit scheme, where containers are left at designated locations or via reverse vending machines.

“The scheme will encourage positive, incentivised recycling and re-use behaviours, that will help reach our target of becoming the tidiest state by 2023,” Tasmanian Environment Minister Elise Archer said.

“Another benefit of a CRS is the ability to produce purer streams of recyclable materials, which are then turned into higher value, second life products with reduced levels of contamination – a move strongly supported by local government with enormous opportunities for local businesses.”

Local Government Association Tasmania welcomed the scheme, saying local councils have long called for action and leadership on waste and recycling.

“The announcement for the establishment of an expert reference group to support the CRS project is an important first step in the process,’ LGAT said.

“While it is noted there has been no budget allocation for the announced CRS, LGAT looks forward working collaboratively with the Government as they scope, design and plan for implementation of the CRS in consultation with our Members.”

LGAT understands the state government intends to release a state waste action plan by the end of this month.

The state government in 2018 commissioned a report to explore how the refund scheme would work. The government will now work on a detailed model and draft legislation, as well as consulting with the community, business and industry.

A tender will be developed for an organisation to run the scheme, once the legislation has passed parliament.