Call for deposit scheme to cut roadside litter

INCREASED roadside litter around the south-west has renewed calls for a South Australian-style 10-cent reimbursement for empty cans and bottles.

Victoria had a temporary contained deposit system in the early 1970s but a state-based scheme has failed to gain support during the past few decades, most notably a knock-back by the Brumby government five years ago.

Camperdown resident Di Daffy said a 10 cent refund would make litterbugs think twice about tossing rubbish indiscriminately around road reserves and public spaces.

“It’s extraordinary the amount of rubbish that’s thrown around; beer bottles, soft drink cans, takeaway food papers,” Mrs Daffy said.

“I’m always picking up rubbish around where I live and you wouldn’t believe the amount of litter you find lying around. 

“The 10-cent scheme would encourage people to hold onto their rubbish and provide an incentive for people who do the right thing and pick up litter.”

In a letter to the editor in today’s edition of The Standard, Mrs Daffy calls for the South Australian scheme to be adopted in Victoria.

“When you travel across the border, you really notice the difference in South Australia — there’s hardly a bottle or can lying around,” she said. “Of course, you can’t stop it but the 10-cent idea is pretty effective.”

South Australia introduced the beverage container levy  in 1977 with a five-cent refund, which was raised to 10 cents per container six years ago. 

The Northern Territory has a similar scheme which has been operating for two years but was temporarily threatened by a Federal Court challenge from soft drink manufacturers.

Warrnambool environmentalist Lisa Owen said successive Victorian governments had equivocated about introducing a similar system.

“It would have a huge impact,” she said. “Ask anyone in South Australia and they’ll tell you the roadsides are cleaner, the rivers and lakes have far less litter. Plus school groups and charities can make some money on the side through collection days, which is a win-win situation.”


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