OUR SAY: Container scheme may not fulfil its promise

FOR years, people in NSW have complained that they can’t redeem cash for their recycled bottles.

It’s so unfair, we say, that South Australia consumers are able to redeem 10 cents a bottle and here in NSW we get diddly-squat.

Well a container deposit scheme is just around the corner at long last, but the reality might not be what we hoped. 

For one, the average consumer is going to be paying more. 

Prices could rise up to 25 cents for bottles subject to the scheme – most bottle shops expect 13 to 14 cents per unit.

So that bottle of water or soft drink at lunch, or if you’re lucky, a stubby of beer, is going to cost extra.

But guess how much we will get for depositing them back in? That’s right, still 10 cents. 

So for those people who already recycle as they should, they will receive no reward – in fact, they will be worse off. 

It also remains uncertain how many collection points Orange will have. 

The rumour is two, but so far we’ve been unable to confirm this number from those said to be organising them or where they will be located.

Advocates for the container deposit scheme point to waterways after heavy storms, choked with bottles, or litter in public places.

But unless redeeming the refund is easy, it’s unlikely to make an impression.

We would question whether two collection points qualify as easy when tossing a bottle in the nearby bin may be easier.

The benefit, hopefully, will lie in those who usually throw their recyclables into landfill, who are encouraged by the refund.

After all, they will be paying more for their goods too and perhaps the psychological impact of receiving money for effort could make a difference. 

Then there are those who see the money-making potential on a larger scale and make a point of collecting discarded bottles to make a little extra pocket money as they did in generations past. 

Organisations could also seek donations of bottles to donate the proceeds to charity. 

But seeing as from Wednesday we will already be paying for this scheme, the collection points need to be clarified soon so consumers can start taking part from December 1. 

Without them, we’re paying more money for no reason.