Victorians who worked so hard to achieve a container deposit scheme for Victoria will be able to rejoice as from 1 November 2023, when a refund scheme for drink containers was announced by the Victorian Minister for Environment Ingrid Stitt on Friday 14th April 2023.
A 10-cent refund will be given for each approved drink container, aluminium, plastic or glass at more than 600 refund collection points across the state.
Werribee River Association (WRA) has worked long and hard to see this scheme come to fruition.
In 2014 WRA created its Litterblitz program which now has expanded to five groups working across Wyndham and out into Melbourne, contributing to the removal of many thousands of drink containers from our scenic or recreational places and our streets.
The value of this work in amenity and community pride totalled 880 hours in 2021-2022 alone, (WRA Annual Report 20/21 p.4) and over ten years that would equate to half-a-million dollars work of voluntary work for the community. Now that same work can be recompensed somewhat with a refund for containers.
Rob Bradley, voluntary manager for the Litterblitz group, Beach Patrol 3030 – Werribee says, “Our data collected over the years shows that we have removed 15,000 drink containers from beaches and public places on the Werribee River since 2015.”
At 10c for each container that equals $1,500, rather handy money for vital work on our waterways and public places, which impacts positively on cleaner water, healthier wildlife, human health, amenity, and community pride.
WRA has made submissions to various inquiries, joined alliances and networked in Victoria, and with interstate colleagues to achieve this initiative. Seeking the best possible model for the scheme, WRA was active in engagement activity with authorities and experts in the field, and are very pleased to welcome its upcoming commencement.
Lisa Field, voluntary manager of Love Our Street 3030 – Werribee says, “the container deposit scheme is expected to half the litter problem, which will be a much-welcomed outcome for our volunteers and for the environment. Plus, we are looking forward to working with the network provider to become a charity, in receipt of container donations.”