Roger Jaensch,Minister for the Environment
Today I tabled a Bill to establish Tasmania’s first Statewide Container Refund Scheme (CRS) that will reduce litter, increase recycling and create opportunities for businesses, charities and community organisations right across Tasmania.
The draft Bill was released for public consultation earlier this year, with over 3,500 people responding and 98 per cent of survey respondents supportive of a scheme.
Like all schemes currently in operation across Australia, ours will be based on product stewardship principles, where the costs of the scheme are built into the sale price of each container.
While the big beverage companies already participate in refund schemes in other states, many small producers in Tasmania will be facing the costs of participating in such a scheme for the first time.
Because boutique and start-up beverage producers are an important part of our brand, regional employment, and visitor economy, our Government is including a package of initiatives to assist small producers to participate in the Scheme, in a way that no other state or territory has done before.
These initiatives include:
- an 18-month transition period for small producers to meet new labelling requirements;
- a grants program to assist small beverage companies with administrative support and the cost of adopting product barcodes; and
- all beverage companies are exempt from paying into the Scheme for their first 20,000 container sales each year.
This means that many of Tasmania’s smallest beverage suppliers will not pay into the Scheme at all, while their customers can still claim a refund for their containers.
We also know how critical Tasmania’s community will be to the success of Tasmania’s CRS and we are committed to maximising opportunities for Tasmanian charities and community groups to benefit from the Scheme.
That’s why we are providing a way for all Tasmanian charities and community groups to register for a Refund Account so members of the public can donate their container refunds directly to the charity or community group of their choice – making it easy for all Tasmanians to do their bit for their community and their environment, at the same time.
I look forward to debate on the Bill and continued engagement with industry, the charity sector, community organisations, and local communities as we roll out Tasmania’s first statewide Container Refund Scheme.