Big Soda Defeated In Australia

A small but sweet and bubbly victory for the environment and those who make a few bucks from recycling soda cans occurred in Australia this week.

As mentioned previously; a campaign led by Coca Cola Amatil to destroy a container deposit program in Australia’s Northern Territory was successful, albeit temporarily as it turns out.

A legal technicality Coca Cola and its cohorts used to can the program was countered by an exemption from federal law this week.

This means the companies must again pay deposits of 10 cents a bottle or can recycled through the Territory’s recycling system.

Kudos to the Northern Territory government during this ordeal – it kept the scheme going while it was in limbo. While it seems there are a few kinks in the program that will be re-implemented, these should be ironed out.

Coca Cola, Schweppes and Lions are of course pretty unhappy. Coca Cola says it will increase the price of its products – big deal, in fact that’s a good thing considering the types of products in question.

While the company may be worried about a loss of sales as a result; that may have already happened. Thanks to their efforts in attempting to bury the program for good; some folks (including me) now refuse to buy their beverages.

The Northern Territory will rejoin South Australia in container deposit recycling schemes in this country. South Australia’s program has been operating for thirty-six years and it’s rare to see bottles and cans lying around the place. Any that are tend to be picked up pretty quickly.

Big Soda’s battle against the scheme is probably more than just about the Northern Territory – I guess with the NT on board now, it makes it more likely a national scheme may be put in place at some point – and one should be.

I hate to think how many single use cans and bottles are cranked out each year and the volume that winds up in landfill or littered. By implementing container deposit schemes, far fewer do as it’s like throwing away money. As a result of South Australia’s program, recyclable containers going to landfill have been reduced to just 3%.

I think these schemes are really important for kids too – it shows them there is treasure in trash.


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