Cash-for-cans to help Victoria’s recycling crisis

8 August 2019

Written by: Caitlin Pilatti

Australia's recycling problem escalates since China's ban in 2017.

The Victorian Greens have called for action with a cash-for-cans scheme to tackle Victoria’s recycling crisis.

The Greens insist that this crisis is an opportunity to re-shape and grow Victoria’s recycling industry; promoting the use of recycled materials to be remade and sold in the state.

The scheme will cost taxpayers $9 million over four years, however the proposed scheme could generate an estimated $253.5 million, covering the costs of improving and expanding Victoria’s aluminium and glass recycling.

Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam told the Age it is time Victoria to join other states and territories and commit to the recycling scheme.

“The Victorian government is now blocking the creation of a national container refund scheme. There is no excuse to delay the introduction of this important piece of the puzzle to fix our recycling crisis,” she said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for action to be taken on the current plastic recycling crisis as he seeks support when premiers meet at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Cairns tomorrow.

Morrison acknowledges the severity of the problem, describing Australia’s record on plastic recycling as “appalling”.

“We are not recycling plastics in this country, it’s going into landfill or it’s going into boats and being sent up to Asia and ends up washing out of rivers and creating islands of plastic off the coast of the United States, where it drifts to, which is three times the size of France,” he told 7NEWS.

The recycling crisis has risen to national prominence since China’s decision in July 2017 to reject recycling imports. The Environment Protection Agency has imposed a series of bans on its operations, affecting 30 councils across Victoria.