Industry seeks ongoing commitment to managing packaging waste

Wednesday, 16 April, 2008

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has called on Environment Ministers to reject calls for a national container deposit system ahead of discussions at the Environment Protection and Heritage Council meeting in Melbourne.

AFGC chief executive Dick Wells said that industry supports an informed debate that considers all the economic, social and environmental aspects of waste management policy but was not supportive of simplistic responses to complex problems.

“While there have been calls from South Australian Minister Gail Gago for the establishment of a national container deposit system, this would address only 3% of the entire waste stream and would duplicate systems that already exist for recycling bottles and cans through kerbside collections," Wells said.

“The current co-regulatory arrangements through the National Packaging Covenant have commitment from all sectors of industry and the majority of state and local governments, and where there has been active involvement we are clearly seeing results.

“We’ve also seen considerable improvements in NSW and Queensland, who have been the actively involved through the covenant in identifying projects to recover a wide range of packaging, not just bottles and cans."

Wells said that through the proactive engagement of industry and governments, the covenant is now targeting solutions to increase glass recovery and improve recycling in the commercial and industrial sector.

Environment Ministers are meeting on 17 April at the Environment Protection and Heritage Council meeting to discuss a range of issues including waste management policy.

For more information contact Rosie Schmedding at the AFGC on (02) 6273 1466.


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