QUEANBEYAN Landcare has lent its support to a new recycling scheme aimed at reducing the amount of plastic bottles polluting land and rivers across the state.
The NSW Greens announced on Tuesday that they were drafting a bill for a Container Deposit Scheme, similar to that used in South Australia, where a 10 cent rebate could be collected from recycling depots for every plastic bottle returned. The 10 cents would be factored in to the original price of the product as a deposit.
Queanbeyan Landcare publicity officer Tom Baker welcomed the proposal, and said structuring recycling into the economy was the best way to reduce waste.
‘‘It’s a good idea. In the future, you really need to embed environmental initiatives into the economic system and the pricing system. That’s where it counts,’’ Mr Baker said. ‘‘Anything that reduces pollution from plastics or packaging material is obviously desirable. Everyone would agree with that, not just Landcare.’’
While Mr Baker said the current problem caused by plastic bottles was ‘‘not insurmountable,’’ he added that the move would help protect local wildlife in the Queanbeyan River.
‘‘Councils have gross pollutant traps to protect rivers now, and people pick up rubbish. The only threat is when animals in the river get caught up in these things,’’ he said.
Founder of Clean Up Australia, Ian Kiernan, has also supported the idea.
‘‘Australians use up to 13 billion containers every year. Beverage related rubbish is still the most common type of rubbish found by our volunteers on Clean Up Australia Day,’’ Mr Kiernan said.
‘‘When bottles and cans end up in the environment they are not just an eyesore, they harm wildlife and become killers if mistaken for food.
‘‘The introduction of a CDS in NSW would help us reduce the amount of containers that are ending up in our environment and increase recycling rates of beverage containers from 40 per cent up to 80 per cent.’’
Mr Kiernan called on Queanbeyan residents to lobby their state ministers to vote ‘yes’ for a CDS in August.
‘‘Show our ministers what you think about a Container Deposit Scheme by using our online form at www.cleanup.org.au/au/get-active-mp-letter to send a message telling them Australia is ready for the scheme that reduces drink-related waste in our environment,’’ he said.
Queanbeyan Landcare’s Tom Baker at the Rutledge Street gross pollutant trap, which prevents large pieces of litter from flowing into the Queanbeyan River.