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Whatever Happened to Tassie's promised Container Deposit Refund Scheme?

Whatever Happened to Tassie's promised Container Deposit Refund Scheme?

Here's an update thanks to Michael Lynch at Sustainable Living Tasmania

In February 2021, the then Minister for Environment and Parks, Roger Jaensch, announced that: 

“ The introduction of a Container Refund Scheme is a key action in Tasmania’s draft Waste Action Plan. The Government is committed to having the scheme commence operation in 2022.”

This follows an announcement by an earlier Minister for Environment, Elise Archer, in June 2019, that the scheme is expected to be rolled out by 2022. The Minister also announced at the time: 

“The scheme will encourage positive, incentivised recycling and re-use behaviours, that will help reach our target of becoming the tidiest state by 2023.”

Sadly the reality is somewhat different.

The Tasmanian Planning Commission is currently considering a draft planning directive by Planning Minister, Michael Ferguson, that would put in place consistent rules for where collection points and refund machines can be located. Sites that adhere to these rules would be able to be installed without planning approval.

A key provision of the draft planning directive relates to additional requirements that would be imposed upon over the counter refund points, pop up refund points, bag drop refund points or a container refund machine located within 50 metres of residential areas, requiring them to seek planning approval.

The companies that have been selected to jointly operate the scheme (TOMRA and Cleanaway), have made submissions to the Planning Commission opposing the draft planning directive proposals.

So it very much looks as though the Container Refund Scheme will not see the light of day in 2023, and making it highly unlikely that the Government’s target of the tidiest state by 2023 will be met.

1 November 2023

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