Australia's most populous state, New South Wales (NSW) — which is home to Australia's largest city, Sydney — will start a bottle deposit program starting in July 2017.
NSW Premier Mike Baird announced the bottle deposit system this month. The 10-cent deposits will apply to containers ranging from 1.5 to 3 liters, with a range of collection points, from large-scale depots to stand-alone, reverse-vending machines and pop-up sites.
Baird said the 10-cent refund and all handling and administration fees will be financed by beverage suppliers.
NSW will join South Australia, which has had a deposit since 1977, and the Northern Territory, which introduced one in 2012.
With 32% of Australia's population living in NSW, that means after July 2017 more than 40% of Australians will be living in states and territories with bottle deposits. And the state of Queensland, with 21% of Australia's population, is likely to follow as its environment minister has already set up an advisory group on the subject.
“Giving people a financial incentive to do the right thing and recycle drink containers will help to significantly reduce the estimated 160 million drink containers littered every year,” Baird said.
Jeff Angel of the Sydney-based Boomerang Alliance — which represents 34 environmental groups — said Baird's announcement has taken “13 long years of campaigning with almost unanimous community support.
“The [deposit program] has had to test itself against rigorous economic and environmental analysis as well as misinformation campaigns. The decision has opened the way to a massive, ongoing cleanup of the environment, creating hundreds of jobs, much more recycling and millions of dollars for charities,” he said.