Manufacturers argue for rubbish

The Australian Food and Grocery Council has attacked a Senate inquiry's recommendation for national container deposit legislation, calling the approach "inefficient" and likely to cause price increases.

The Management of Australia's Waste Streams report, released by the Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts on September 3, looked at disposal of used oil, consumer packaging, beverage containers, newsprint, tyres, computer waste and compact fluorescent lamps.

The AFGC said it supported the report but "could not support" the proposal for a Drink Container Recycling Bill. AFGC chief executive Kate Carnell described South Australia's successful container deposit system as "a tax" and claimed that its application nationally would "increase the price of a carton of beer or soft drink by $3.60". The AFGC signalled that it will work through the Environment Protection and Heritage Council to head off the proposed legislation.

In a submission to the inquiry, Clean Up Australia chairperson Ian Kiernan said: "We know that South Australia has enjoyed a recycling rate for cans and bottles of up to 85 per cent, while the rate in other states is less than half of this … South Australia is the only state where beverage containers are not among the five most commonly collected types of rubbish on Clean Up Australia Day."