The production of bottled water is a bad enough problem on its own. We’ve spoken at length about its harmful effects on the environment. However, perhaps equally as troubling and what many don’t realise is that bottled water’s ill effects continue long after they have left the supermarket shelf, with drink containers making up a staggering five of the top nine recorded pieces of litter by volume.
So, if the majority of these bottles are recyclable, why are they ending up in landfill or on your local bush walk track? Inconvenience? Lack of education? Disregard for the environment? Absence of any recycling bins at hand? It’s a tricky question and one that we don’t really have an answer to…
However, what we do know is that a simple and effective way to encourage the proper disposal of these bottles is what is known as a ‘container deposit recycling (CDR)’ scheme.
You’ve probably seen the little tag on many beverage containers noting the potential for a 5c or 10c refund at depots in South Australia and the Northern Territory. What you probably don’t know is that efforts such as these have been incredibly effective.
Indeed, a team at Monash University found that across 47 CDR schemes around the world, there was, on average, a whopping 76% return of drink containers. Additionally, the team found that, in the U.S., states that maintained a CDR scheme had drink container returns at well over twice the rate than states without. CDR works. In fact, data from seven U.S. states showed a container waste reduction between 69-83% and a reduction in overall waste from 30-47%.
Thankfully, NSW will soon be joining our South Australia and North Territory friends in having a CDR scheme, with premier Mike Baird recently announcing plans to introduce refunds from July 2017.
That is unless the big beverage companies get their say with Coca-Cola and Schwepps looking to fight the legislation. Not only this, assuming the scheme is successfully implemented, the bottlers are preparing to hike prices by 15 to 20c per container to recoup the 10c refund and associated costs.
If you’ve been following our posts here at Back to the Tap, you know how big of a problem plastic bottles are. Container deposit recycling schemes work. They can help kerb the shocking trends we are seeing. So make sure you get out there and make your voice heard. Support the proposal and spread the word. Let’s not be bullied by big beverage!
#backtothetap #choosetap #betterthanbottled #recycle