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Victorians will be able to get 10 cents back on their used milk cartons, glass bottles and drink cans from November 1 as part of the Andrews government’s long-awaited recycling reforms.
The announcement comes after a fight with industry over whether there should be one or several private operators, and the level of involvement from charities, community groups and sporting clubs.
Environment Minister Ingrid Stitt.Credit: Joe Armao
Friday’s announcement confirmed the government had made several concessions with three network operators: paper giant Visy, NSW container deposit scheme operator TOMRA Cleanaway and Canadian not-for-profit Return-It.
The Age last year revealed that Visy had hosted an exclusive Labor Party fundraising event attended by Premier Daniel Andrews and then Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio during the bidding process. The government has always maintained that procurement processes are conducted at arm’s length.
Under the $500 million recycling reforms, local charities and community groups will be able to receive container donations or even run a collection point.
The head of Scouts Victoria, alongside those running the Good Friday Appeal, previously slammed the Victorian model – arguing charities and community organisations should have greater input.
South Australia introduced a container deposit scheme almost 50 years ago, in 1975.
But Environment Minister Ingrid Stitt said Victoria’s scheme would be Australia’s most accessible and convenient.
“Victoria’s container deposit scheme will maximise the number of cans, bottles and cartons being recycled into new products, put extra cash in Victorian pockets and will reduce the amount of litter in our environment by half,” she said in a statement.
The government says that from November 2024, the scheme’s operators will be required to have at least one collection point per 14,500 people in metropolitan areas.
In the regions there will be at least one drop-off point per town of 750 people in towns classified as regional and at least one per town of 350 people in areas classified as remote.
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