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Food, beverage sector seeks COAG packaging report transparency

23 July, 2014

A group of leading Australian business associations has called for a COAG report, titled Packaging Impacts Decision Regulation Impact Statement (DRIS) and prepared for the nation's environment ministers on a proposed national container deposit scheme, to be released to the public.

In a statement by the Environment Ministers after the meeting of 29 April 2014, it was agreed that the DRIS would be made public after time for jurisdictions to assess the report.

A recent media report in the Daily Telegraph suggested the scheme being considered by the federal and state ministers could cost consumers up to $8 billion over 20 years.

Uncertainty and implications

The Group's spokesperson, Denita Wawn of the Brewers Association, said ministers have had almost three months to consider the report and, given the uncertainty, media speculation and cost implications, consumers should be informed before a policy decision is taken.

Business believes the cost of a national container deposit scheme would be a burden to consumers of up to 20 cents extra for every drink bottle versus an industry backed solution that would make it easier for Australians to recycle litter at their work, at home and in public places including parks, beaches, sporting grounds and shopping centres.

The industry's National Recycling Action Plan would have no cost to taxpayers with beverage, food and retail industries committing to generate $285 million of programs and initiatives across the country to increase the recycling of packaging and to reduce littler.

Taxpayers have funded the DRIS and are entitled to be informed of the results ahead of any decision, according to the alliance.