In an Australian first, the Queensland Government has announced it is expanding its container deposit scheme to include glass wine and spirit bottles.
It means Queenslanders will get 10 cents for every glass wine and spirit bottle deposited at one of over 360 container refund points found across the state from November 1.
The commitment to expand the Containers for Change scheme follows an extensive consultation period, where more than 6600 Queenslanders shared their thoughts about including additional containers in the refund program.
According to the Queensland Government, 98.1% of participants were in favour of more containers being made eligible for refunds through the program.
“We’ve heard you Queensland. Plastic bottles, cans, poppers and very soon glass wine and spirit bottles will all give you a 10 cent refund, just in time for the festive season,” Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said.
“Of course, we don’t want Queenslanders to pop the champagne too early, as we work with 360 container refund depots as well as wine makers and spirit distillers over the next six months to get ready for the change.”
The scheme has recovered more than 6.4 billion containers since it started in Queensland in 2018, with more than $630 million given back to locals.
Industry condemns container deposit scheme expansion
Australian Grape & Wine CEO Lee McLean has strongly condemned the Queensland Government’s decision to expand the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) to include wine bottles.
He said the government’s plan will do nothing to increase glass recycling but slug Australia’s winemakers $20 million a year – rising to $100 million if other states follow suit.
“Make no mistake, Queenslanders will pay more for wine under the Palaszczuk Government,” he said.
“This will not lead to a discernable increase in recycling, and it will not lead to a more circular economy. What it will lead to is an increase in the cost of wine at every pub, club, restaurant and bottle shop in Queensland and an increase in carbon emissions.
“This is a bad outcome that could not come at a worse time for our industry. Australia’s grape growers and winemakers are doing it tough. In recent years we have faced challenges of fires, smoke, hail, frost, poor fruit set, COVID-19 and the loss of our biggest export market. What we need from the government is support, not another kick in the guts.
“This government has engaged in a sham consultation with a pre-determined outcome. They do not understand business and they have no idea of the administrative burden of implementing such a change at such short notice. They do not appreciate the impacts this will have on not just Queensland businesses, but businesses across the country.
“Queenslanders aren’t stupid, they know this is nothing more than a superficial attempt by this government to increase their environmental credentials in the lead up to an election. The Palaszczuk Government must release a comprehensive cost benefit analysis that will show what this policy will cost and whether it will lead to a meaningful increase in glass recycling.”