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Container Refund Scheme for Tasmania

Elise Archer, Minister for Environment

The Tasmanian Government will implement a Container Refund Scheme (CRS) as part of its commitment to protect Tasmania’s unique natural environment, provide opportunities to community groups and local businesses, and to help maintain the Tasmanian brand.

Drink containers currently account for around 41 per cent of litter by volume in Tasmania, and we know one of the most effective ways to change littering behaviours is to introduce a container refund scheme as has been seen in other Australian jurisdictions.

The majority of Australian states and territories have successfully implemented a CRS, which allow for the exchange of containers at designated depots and/or reverse vending machines under various models.

The Scheme will encourage positive, incentivised recycling and re-use behaviours, that will help reach our target of becoming the tidiest state by 2023.

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.

This decision follows the State Government commissioned report in 2018 investigating a model framework for a Container Refund Scheme, which provided recommendations to the Government.

Work will now commence on a detailed model and draft legislation, including consultation with the community, businesses and industry.  Specialist advice from a number of departments, as well the establishment of an expert reference group, will be critical to the Scheme’s success.

Once legislation is enacted, a tender will be developed and released for an organisation to run the CRS.

The Scheme is expected to be rolled out by 2022.

This is a significant announcement and one which I am proud to deliver as Minister for Environment.