The Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association, Russell Zimmerman, today welcomed the announcement by the Victorian government that it would introduce a container deposit scheme, saying it would “fill a missing link” as governments across Australia implemented policies based on a circular economy and waste management.
Noting neighbouring South Australia and New South Wales already have container deposit schemes in place, Mr Zimmerman said the move by Victoria to introduce a similar scheme would add certainty for residents in communities in border towns like Wodonga, Mildura and Casterton, while reducing litter and boosting recycling rates generally.
“The ARA congratulates Minister D’Ambrosio for her announcement of this worthy initiative,” Mr Zimmerman said.
Mr Zimmerman said his understanding was that extensive consultation would now be undertaken between the state government, small and large retailers, and industry partners such as the ARA, which he said looked forward to engaging on the issue.
“The ARA is pleased the announcement by the government today makes it clear that the Minister and her department will undertake extensive consultation, and we look forward to being part of that process,” he said.
Mr Zimmerman said the ARA – whilst lauding the government’s announcement – was keen to ensure there was no repeat of industry confusion and costs to retailers that followed the implementation of a ban on lightweight plastic bags last year, and said the ARA stood ready to partner the government on any industry education campaign it might seek to conduct.
“Once again, we welcome today’s announcement of a container deposit scheme in Victoria, and on behalf of the retail sector wish to offer whatever assistance to the government we can to make that process seamless,” Mr Zimmerman concluded.