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States achieving better waste reduction without CDS: index

20 August, 2013

The latest National Litter index released recently shows Victoria has achieved Australia's best reduction of littered beverage containers.

This is without having a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) and shows there are better, cheaper and more effective waste reduction alternatives, according to the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).

The Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index survey found an across-the-board drop in litter in Victoria which outstripped many other states, including South Australia which has a CDS.

Gary Dawson, AFCG CEO, said the national litter results highlighted the effectiveness and success of current industry-based recycling and litter programs which reduce overall litter by addressing all waste streams.

"Victoria impressively leads the nation in reducing litter with its volume of discarded litter down 17 per cent by item and average volume decreasing by 13 per cent," Dawson said.

"One of the major reasons for Victoria's success is its innovative enforcement regulations ensuring that industry, governments and environmental groups like Keep Australia Beautiful work together to reduce litter across all waste streams.

"Victorians benefit from having the world's best practice kerbside recycling scheme, and litter rates that are the best in Australia, with 54 per cent less litter by item and 52 per cent less by volume than the national average.

"Victoria has achieved success without having a CDS, which research has shown to be a much more expensive model and would cost between $1.4 billion - $1.76 billion to set up.[1]

"Alternative plans to improve recycling rates being proposed by industry are 28 times less expensive and include significant funding to community groups and local governments to clean up litter hot spots, and more importantly, keep them clean into the future."

Interestingly Queensland which has already rejected a CDS as an unnecessary cost of living hit on consumers has seen an overall reduction in litter by average and volume. Industry looks forward to working with the Queensland Government and community groups to build on kerbside recycling and deliver better away-from-home recycling options.

[1] PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis to the Council of Australian Government revealed it would cost between $1.4 billion - $1.76 billion to set up. (Prepared by PwC in association with Wright Corporate Strategy. December 2011)

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