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Goff commends government drink bottle return scheme

Goff commends government drink bottle return scheme announcement

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has welcomed the government’s announcement that it will fund the investigation and design of a beverage container return scheme, saying it could see bottle and can recycling rates increase from as low as 45 per cent to well over 80 per cent.

Container Return Schemes (also known as Container Deposit Schemes) work by requiring a small cash deposit to be included in the price of a beverage at the point of sale, usually around 10 to 20 cents. The deposit is then refunded to the consumer when they return the empty drink container for recycling.

“More than 6 million drink containers are purchased every day in New Zealand, but less than half of them are recovered and recycled. By incentivising consumers to recycle their beverage containers, we can reduce enormously the amount of plastic waste going to landfill or being dumped as litter into our environment,” he said.

The funding announcement was made by Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage this morning, following a joint application for funding to the Waste Minimisation Fund by Auckland Council and the Marlborough District Council.

The funding of nearly $1 million will enable the councils to set up a project team and sector working group to co-design a Container Return Scheme for New Zealand, with a final design due to be presented to the Government next year.

“Auckland Council will work closely with the Marlborough District Council, the Ministry for the Environment, the beverage industry, mana whenua and iwi, and community and environmental groups to develop a comprehensive proposal based on international best-practice and using data taken from success stories overseas,” says Mayor Goff.

“With China and, more recently, Indonesia closing their doors to the world’s waste recyclables, the need for New Zealand to significantly increase its on-shore recycling has become urgent. A CRS also creates new jobs and opportunities for wider economic and social benefits for local communities.

“Auckland Council and other regional authorities around the country have been calling for a CRS for some time and I congratulate the government for acting to progress this. While there is more work to be done, this is a very positive step forward.”

ENDS

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