24 April 2013 — A group of international recycling companies including REMONDIS and its sister company Rhenus, Envipco and its Australian respresentative Envirobank Recycling, TOMRA and its Australian distributor Revive Recycling have committed to supporting the roll out of a modern beverage container recycling system in Australia.

The system would involve a capital influx of about $500 million into sustainable infrastructure.

TOMRA chief executive officer Stefan Ranstrand said that based on experience in more than 30 markets, a well-designed, modern CDS would provide significant economic returns as well as community benefits.

“Our assessment is that more than 3000 jobs will be created,” he said.

Rhenus deposit systems head Carsten Schleeberger said experience in Germany showed that both consumers and retailers were quick to embrace the system once it was fully implemented in 2006.

“Recycling rates are now consistently over 95 per cent, and it is providing local industry with high quality material that adds significant local economic value,” he said.

Revive Recycling chief executive officer Markus Fraval said a CDS in Australia would reclaim at least 5 billion containers that were currently lost to litter or landfill every year, and that were “conservatively estimated to be worth around $120 to $140 million annually”

“The implementation of CDS will also deliver pure material streams that are the key to closed loop recycling, and which provide significant additional financial benefit to re-processors, stimulating local manufacturing operations,” he said.

Envirobank Recycling managing director Narelle Anderson said that the newest CDS in the Northern Territory had also demonstrated added value to material recovery facility operators by way of increased commodity value in the kerbside collections.

“In addition, the remote communities are now able to take advantage of the economic benefit a CDS delivers through employment and local fundraising opportunities,” she said.

“Those on marginal incomes now have the opportunity to supplement their incomes, easing cost of living pressures, by collecting containers at 10c each.”

A network of automated and manual return locations would ensure convenient community access, and would include:

  • About 1400 convenience points all over Australia providing easy return possibilities for consumers close to large supermarkets.
  • A network of approximately 200-250 hubs to serve the commercial and industrial sector, as well as aggregate material for freight to reprocessors.
  • The upfront investments in infrastructure and jobs would be paid off through system handling fees which in turn are fully funded by unredeemed deposits and the extra reclaimed material.

Meanwhile, the Northern Territory Minister for the Environment Peter Chandler has called on multi-national drinks companies to get behind cash for containers.

The call comes after the Federal Court of Australia ruled that drink companies did not have to comply with the Territory’s recycling law.

A number of companies, including Coca Cola, took the NT Government to court to try and make it drop its container deposit scheme.

With the ruling, the NT Government has been paying for the refunds since March 27.

“I’m calling on companies who sell drinks here to dip into their pockets, help pay the refund bill and help reward the community for managing their waste,” Mr Chandler said.