MP wants WA deposit scheme

18. 15EARTHCARE 2New Fremantle Labor MP Simone McGurk says the decade-old fight for cash for recycled cans and bottles will drag on unless WA implements its own scheme.

She’d like the state to go it alone and pay people 10c for every returned drink container, including glass and plastic.

WA Labor proposed a state scheme in 2011 but was crushed like a Solo by the Barnett government.

The Greens introduced a bill to federal parliament in September proposing a national scheme but it failed when Labor and the Coalition joined forces.

Ms McGurk concedes the likelihood of a national scheme getting up is “narrow”  despite state and federal MPs this week again mulling over whether to introduce one.

She says the lobbying power of soft drink giants Coca-Cola, Schweppes and Lion has a lot of fizz. They oppose the schemes.

“South Australia has had a deposit scheme for over 35 years, and as a result they have up to 90 per cent recycling rates,” she says. “Shamefully, Western Australia has the worst rate of waste per capita and the lowest recycling rate in the country.”

Deposit schemes reduce litter, she says.

“This is obviously a big consideration for entertainment precincts like Fremantle, where the number of bottles and cans on the street on any given weekend is disgraceful.

“The experience is that street litter changes markedly with a deposit scheme.”

by BRENDAN FOSTER

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