Coca-Cola fights against a recycling scheme that could put money back in your pocket 61



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Greenpeace have released a video targeting Coca-Cola’s industry-backed recycling scheme, claiming that it will not solve the “enormous litter problem in NSW”.

The video takes aim at the “Coke way” of recycling and urges the NSW Government to support a “recycling plan that works”, in the form of a container deposit scheme (CDS).

The 40 second video mimics a Coca-Cola Amatil ad with a sinister twist, picturing beach goers surrounded by discarded bottles and a dead bird falling from the sky. It also reveals that more than 40 million cans and bottles are littered in NSW every summer.

In a media release Nathaniel Pelle, Greepeace Australia Pacific campaigner, said, “Last year, Mr Baird (Premier of NSW) committed to a world’s best-practice container deposit recycling system by 2017. Now Coke is lobbying hard to get him to break his promise by choosing its own plan, which won’t solve our enormous litter problem.”

The SMH reports that instead of the “Refund CDS” scheme, which is framed around financial incentive where a consumer pays an additional 10 cents per drink and claim the cost back after recycling, Coke have expressed intentions to go with an alternative scheme, “Thirst for Good”. The so-called “Coke way” of recycling is an industry backed proposal, developed by the major beverage companies. It suggests a “$15 million annual investment by the beverage industry in a suite of programs aimed specifically at reducing litter.”

While this scheme is proposed industry-wide, the Greenpeace video refers to it as “Coke’s plan” and labels the idea as a “joke”. SMH reports that Mr Pelle acknowledged the “Thirst for Good” Scheme was put forward by the Australian Food and Grocery Council to represent all industry players, but he says that Greenpeace targeted Coca-Cola Amatil because it is “the main company in Australia and around the world that has led lobbying efforts to ensure cash for container deposit schemes never get up.”

“Coke took the Northern Territory government to court over their introduction of a container deposit scheme”, says Mr Pelle. He also pointed to The Coca-Cola Company annual report for 2012, which states that beverage container deposits, recycling and eco tax “could affect our costs or require changes in our distribution model, which could reduce our net operating revenues or profitability.”

Australian Food and Grocery Council, who are representing the industry scheme, told smh their scheme will have a bigger and faster impact on litter than traditional schemes because it targets “all litter, not just beverage containers.”

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola Amatil has told smh, “With almost 40 years’ experience operating container deposit schemes in South Australia and the Northern Territory in Australia, Coca-Cola Amatil believes that the litter reduction needs in NSW are different to what South Australia required in the 1970s.”

Is it time for Coca-Cola to start getting serious about recycling? Tell us your thoughts.

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  1. Money back in my pocket, I like the sound of that

    1 REPLY
    • Coca-Cola’s world HQ are in the United States at Atlanta, Georgia (GA).
      GA is a bottom-most “worst” government in the American State Litter Scorecard (
      ATLANTA remains rated a major TRAVEL+LEISURE/FORBES “America’s Dirtiest City.”
      GEORGIA, as do most American southern states, do not have mandated recycling nor container deposits legislation.

  2. We have had this in SA for years. And we don’t pay extra for the drinks. We pay the same cost as every else.

    2 REPLY
    • We have just travelled through SA I love the no plastic bags and refund on plastic bottles etc but you do pay extra per carton on water etc. In other states for a slab of water you pay from 6 to 7 dollars, I was paying 11 there.

    • Rob N Ruth Gray
      Depends where you buy it. Places lije Woolworths or Coles are the same price no matter where you are. Independents tend to charge whatever they want.

  3. The states that have this clearly demonstrate that it works; you don’t find returnables lying around

    1 REPLY
    • Coca-Cola’s world HQ are in the United States at Atlanta, Georgia (GA).
      GA is a bottom-most “worst” government in the American State Litter Scorecard (
      ATLANTA remains rated a major TRAVEL+LEISURE/FORBES “America’s Dirtiest City.”
      GEORGIA, as do most American southern states, do not have mandated recycling nor container deposits legislation.

  4. In SA we have always had a deposit for drink containers, & this works well. People either collect and take their containers to the recyclers themselves, or give them to charities & community groups who collect them as fund raisers I’m always amazed that other states don’t have this system

  5. Littering is a major problem. I feel the main cause is basic laziness on behalf of a large number of the population. Our town has a wonderful recycling program but people have to clean the recyclables before they put them in the bin. One dirty can or bottle ruins the whole bin. On our numerous camping trips the rubbish we have encountered in remote camps is awful. We now take large rubbish bags with us because we know we will be bringing a lot of rubbish out. Throwing rubbish out a car window instead of having a rubbish bag in the car. And the list goes on. Basic laziness. I honestly don’t know how you change peoples attitudes. It is very frustrating when you are in the middle of the desert and you are picking up drink cans and bottles and rubbish of all description.

  6. Actually, Ruth, Big W charge an extra 10 cents in SA. I’m guessing they make a bit extra in SA if people buy drinks from them. (I don’t)

    2 REPLY
    • In SA it does not matter where we buy drinks we pay an extra 10c that is refundable when they are returned to a recycle depot. Also it is the same for flavoured milk containers

    • And 10 cents each for the tiny Yakult bottles. It’s a great system which works well. Very little plastic blowing around too.

  7. Bring in the container deposit scheme. Deposit 10c per container or more – refundable at any retailer. Would also encourage kids to clean up, perhaps even scouts to have bottle drives once again. A very big NO to any idea of an industry scheme – we have all seen how effective “self-regulation” is.

  8. I will solve this problem on a personal level, I am going to obtain a list of Coca Cola Amatil products and will not buy another one, even one, until they think of us instead of just their bottom line. Simple solution

    1 REPLY
  9. Mike here-can’t undrstand what their bitch is,I beivght gge rice occocacola products did rise for the CDS in SA but coca cola only workd on 25% return giving them awindfall profit of 75% on the deposits, of course now, a can or bottle doesn’t get left on the ground or even in bin before somebody picks it up

  10. Mike here-infernal machine won’t let me correct, the first line should read (believe it or not), I believe the price of coca cola products did rise for the CDS

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