Container Deposit Scheme

The State Government has scheduled the introduction of a Container Deposit Scheme for relevant food and drinks vessels from July 1 next year.

Like the recent move in New South Wales, and another planned for Queensland later this year, the scheme involves consumers receiving a 10-cent refund for each container returned to a reverse vending machine or collection depot.

This type of scheme has been disastrous in New South Wales and the Western Australian Brewers Association believes if the same model is brought into this State it will have a severe impact on members who sell packaged product.

For instance, the breweries’ costs to comply with the scheme could mean a regulation 330ml bottle of 375ml can could cost 18 cents each, even though the consumer will only receive a 10-cent refund.

Also, the scheme will likely be run by a group comprising macro breweries, including AB In-Bev, Lion and Asahi, as well as major soft drink manufacturer Coca-Cola Amatil.

WABA has launched a strategy to seek relief from the scheme for the majority of members. Executive Officer Ross Lewis is on a Government working committee arguing the detriments of the scheme. And Ross has also met a range of members of parliament from all political persuasions in a bid to ensure the pending legislation considers the plight of our small breweries.

In short, these are WABA’s key CDS points –

  • WA brewers support litter reduction.
  • Small brewers don’t contribute to litter in a meaningful way. Wine and spirits exempt from CDS.
  • An average WA brewery will face a cost of $45,000 to $50,000 a year to comply with CDS. Some single brewer operators will faceconsiderably higher costs.
  • Small brewers don’t have the margins to absorb some of the CDS costs like Macro (interstate) breweries. Price point of WA beer and that imported from interstate becomes even greater.
  • The current proposal will harm the local breweries and cost the State jobs. Local breweries are labour intensive.
  • The cost per vessel could be as high as 18cents. That cost will be passed on to the consumers who will get only a 10-cent refund.
  • Scheme has been disastrous in NSW. Cartons of craft beer have risen up to $5.
  • There will be a flow-on impact as local breweries use local barley, hops, distributors and other kindred industries.
  • WABA seeks a $250,000 rebate to protect the little guys whilst allowing the scheme to go ahead and the consumer to get their 10 cents back.
  • Breweries are already fighting the impact of high excise.
  • Scheme to be administered by a group consisting of biggest litterers and small brewers’ competitors, CUB, Lion, Asahi and Coopers.

WABA also encourages individual breweries to work with their respective members of parliament to push the case for industry relief.

This scheme will be implemented. Local breweries need to be prepared for the consequences of the CDS.

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