Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): My adjournment matter is directed to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Solar Homes, the Honourable Lily D’Ambrosio. The Andrews Labor government is encouraging all Victorians to have their say on how a statewide container deposit scheme, CDS, would work best to improve our recycling system and reduce litter pollution in our environment. Victorians are being asked to provide feedback on the proposed model for the container deposit scheme, which will be rolled out by 2023 and will create hundreds of jobs across the state. The CDS is a cash-for-cans system where empty cans, small bottles and cartons can be dropped off at collection points for a refund. Under the proposed model there would be split responsibility for the operation and governance.
This design maximises the number of bottles collected at the lowest cost for scheme delivery as well as ensuring strong transparency and accountability. The CDS network would include a variety of collection points, such as automated reverse vending machines in public places, drive-through depots, over the counter in shops and pop-up collection points at events and festivals. A CDS is a significant opportunity for community groups, charities and sporting clubs to share the benefits and raise much-needed funds, including through operating refund collection points and fundraising opportunities. Businesses will also have opportunities to operate collection sites across the state, creating new jobs in transport and logistics and through support services like technology management, community education, auditing and reporting.
Drink cans and bottles make up almost half of all the litter in Victoria. A CDS would significantly reduce this litter and help ensure a clean stream of recyclable materials can be re-used in new products instead of going to landfill or polluting the environment and harming our wildlife. The introduction of a CDS is part of the government’s $300 million Recycling Victoria program introducing a new approach to reduce, re-use and recycle our state’s waste. The action I seek from the minister is to provide my office with an update on the opening and closing dates for the consultations so constituents in my area of Western Metropolitan Region can have their say.
A container deposit scheme (CDS) is part of ambitious reforms to transform Victoria’s recycling system under our $380 million Recycling Victoria policy. This will help us to make sure we minimise waste and recycle and reuse as much of it as possible.
Victoria’s CDS will increase recycling of empty beverage containers into new products, reduce litter, enable a product stewardship model that fosters a shared responsibility between producers, retailers and consumers of beverage containers.
We will make sure it provides easy access to collection points for all Victorians and provide opportunities for a range of organisations to manage collection points including community groups, charities, sporting groups and small to medium enterprises. This will create positive social outcomes by encouraging new local jobs throughout Victoria and enabling community-based organisations and small businesses to participate in the scheme and share the financial benefits.
The public consultation on a proposed design for Victoria’s CDS commenced in November and closed in December 2020 We are asking beverage consumers, businesses and organisations, communities and local governments to share their views so that our scheme suits Victoria’s needs.
We received 2,764 contributions from the public, including 185 written submissions. Eight information sessions and workshops were held, generating conversations with 284 participants.
The government is now reviewing the information received to better understand how a CDS can be designed to be the best fit scheme for Victoria. A summary of the feedback received and next steps to implement Victoria’s CDS will be available in early 2021.
There will be more opportunities for Victorians to have their say as we continue to implement the CDS.