Drumming up support for a Container Deposit Scheme
The Boomerang Alliance, representing 47 community groups and local government organisations, is currently bringing the Big Bottle Tour to regional Victoria with a three-metre-long giant soft drink bottle in tow. The tour will rally the support of thousands of people, mobilising the community and meeting with local MPs in the call for a state-wide container deposit scheme in Victoria – one of only two Australian states yet to commit to such a scheme.
“With the recycling industry in Victoria on the brink of collapse due to contaminated kerbside collections, the Victorian Government needs to act quickly to implement a viable long-term solution that will deliver clean material acceptable for recycling and grow domestic reprocessing,” says Jeff Angel, director of Boomerang Alliance. “Victoria could lead on the circular economy around plastics but only by closing the loop and maximising the quality of reclaimed resource. Container Deposits schemes continue to prove their effectiveness in achieving this objective.”
The ‘Big Bottle Tour’ will commence in Stawell on Saturday 31st March and continuing over two weeks, travelling south-west to Warrnambool and Port Fairy, north to Mildura and back to Melbourne via Echuca, Beechworth, Bendigo, Castlemaine and Ballarat. The tour will collect beverage containers along the way and deliver them to the Premier, along with a message from regional Victoria about the importance of waste and littering issues in regional communities.
Joining forces with local community organisations across the state, including Landcare, Coastcare, Boomerang Bags and Plasticwise groups, as well as the Scouts, the tour will also highlight the significant benefits that container deposits offer to the local community.
“Compulsory container legislation will save the time and effort of volunteers cleaning up this unnecessary rubbish,” adds president of Stawell Urban Landcare Group John Pye. “If we are to respect the contribution that volunteers make in their local community then government inaction on this issue is unacceptable and insulting.”
Aside from the proven environmental benefits of litter reduction, deposit schemes provide a reliable revenue stream to support local charities, sports teams and community initiatives, offering a ‘double-whammy’ for the community. Port Fairy Sea Scouts group leader Michelle Arnold welcomes the campaign and its three-metre large bottle to Port Fairy in a bid to get others to support the initiative.
“We see how well this scheme works for the scouts in South Australia,” she says. “We have the setup to receive containers, we have eager scouts to go collecting and if you look at our scout hall, we certainly could put the funding to good use!”
Boomerang Alliance is calling on regional Victoria to come out in support of the ‘Big Bottle Tour’ and help deliver the message to Premier Daniel Andrews that Victorians want deposits on their beverage containers. Supporters can meet the Big Bottle as it comes to their town, join in local clean-ups and receive 10-cent refunds for littered drink containers or follow the progress of the tour online.
“As Victoria drowns in a sea of contaminated kerbside recycling, the time to act is now. Can the Andrews’ Government continue to ignore the evidence and oversee not only the destruction of Victoria’s recycling industry, but also the ongoing damage to its iconic environment?” Angel asks.
Follow the Big Bottle Tour at www.boomerangalliance.org.au/
Image courtesy of Boomerang Alliance.