Customer education key as Victorian container deposit scheme rolls out 1 November

Australia’s peak retail body, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), welcomes the commencement of Victoria’s container deposit scheme (CDS) on November 1, with a rollout of 600 consumer collection points which are now live on the CDS website.

The Victorian container deposit scheme is the second-last scheme in the country to rollout, next to Tasmania which is experiencing delays. The CDS provides significant momentum to sustainability issues in Victoria, such as waste reduction and onshore recycling capability, which have grown increasingly important for many of Australia’s retailers.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said while the scheme is a positive step in achieving a circular economy, retailers are keen to see more consumer awareness, particularly around pricing increases resulting from the scheme.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra urged the Victorian Government to ramp up its awareness and education campaigns in the coming weeks.

“Responsible waste management and recycling practices are critical for the health of our environment,” Mr Zahra said. “Container deposit schemes have potential to reduce litter and increase recycling rates, taking us one step closer to a circular economy.

“We are conscious that due to the design of the scheme, retailers deemed the ‘first supplier’ must pay a fee to the Victorian Government to distribute the container, which like other states, will mostly end up being passed onto consumers.

“With most households under cost pressure and leading into Christmas and the holiday period, it is important to note that retailers have not chosen the timing of these increases, they are simply responding to the legislation and implementation date chosen by the Victorian Government.  

“We would like to see the Government increase its education and consultation with the Victorian community so that consumers are aware of the costs, benefits – and impacts – of the scheme.

“Raising awareness and educating consumers is now key.”

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