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Container Return Scheme development welcomed

Our Seas Our Future (OSOF) welcomes the announcement that work has begun to develop a beverage container return scheme for New Zealand.

This Container Return Scheme would require beverage containers, such as plastic PET bottles, to carry a refundable deposit. The deposit can be redeemed when the container is returned to a collection depot or other drop-off point.

If implemented, it would mean that when you buy a drink in a container and then return the container – you could get a small deposit refunded to you. The container is then recycled or refilled. Doing this is proven to increase recycling rates, reduce litter and keeps our resources being used over and over again.

OSOF founder and trustee, Noel Jhinku says “If realised, this will be a major win for the environment, and an additional tool used to fight the growing waste problem in New Zealand”

“We need systems that encourage and incentivise Kiwis to look at their trash through a different lens, one where waste becomes a commodity”

This scheme would change the way New Zealanders see beverage containers – they would again become something of value. We would see increased recycling and new opportunities for refilling, rather than too many bottles ending up in landfills, or as litter in our streets and natural environment.

OSOF is supportive of this scheme driven by the Kiwi Bottle Drive campaign, and we would like to see the development of this plan realised, and become a part of everyday life in New Zealand.

Auckland Council and Marlborough District Council are the joint recipients of a successful Waste Minimisation Fund application to design and develop the system.

Over the next year, they will work with Ministry for the Environment and representatives from the beverage, packing and recycling industries, councils, retailers, charitable organisations, Māori, consumer representatives, and product stewardship groups to design the scheme.


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