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Studies into Container Deposit Systems

2018- A Model Framework for a Container Refund Scheme in Tasmania

In recent years, there has been considerable focus on container deposit systems (CDS) at both the State and National level.The Tasmanian Government provided funding in the 2017-18 Budget to develop a model framework for implementing a Container Deposit Scheme in Tasmania that would complement similar schemes in other States and Territories.

Marsden Jacob Associates (MJA) were subsequently engaged to undertake the study and provide a report to the State Government.

Read the final MJA Framework Report and its recommendations here.

The report concluded that an appropriate Container Recovery Scheme (CRS) for Tasmania should include the following characteristics:

  • Common features with other jurisdictions including eligible containers and deposit amount.
  • CRS to be run by a single co-ordinator and operator set up as a product stewardship organisation (PSO).
  • The PSO to be overseen by a Board of Directors that is representative of the industry but ensures access to relevant expertise.
  • Transparent responsibilities and performance objectives of the PSO to be set out in the enabling legislation.
  • Redemption and access targets should be established in the regulations:
  • Target at least 60 refund points
  • Target a redemption rate of at least 80%
  • Graduated sanctions for failing to meet those targets.
  • Let the market determine operational details of the system.
  • Verifiable auditing and tracking systems required to ensure objectives and targets are met.
  • Allow 18 months to set up scheme.
  • Potential cost savings to local councils.
  • Total funding requirement of the scheme over 20 years of $239 million of which $138 million are refunded deposits.  Real costs of running the scheme are about $101 million or around 4c per eligible container.
  • Nominal price impacts on consumers who don't redeem containers start at around 10 cents per container and rise over time to about 16 cents per container.   Cost impacts on consumers who redeem containers (price impact less refund) start at around 0 cents per container and rise to about 6 cents per container.
  • Beverage container litter falls by approximately 50% with a redemption rate of 80%.

2014 - Cost benefit analysis for a Tasmanian Container Deposit System

In recent years, there has been considerable focus on container deposit systems (CDS) at both the State and National level.

Funding to undertake a contemporary cost benefit analysis for a Tasmanian CDS was provided in the 2013/2014 State Budget. Following an open tender process, the EPA Division engaged Marsden Jacob Associates to undertake the ‘desktop’ analysis.

The key findings of the Tasmanian analysis are that while there are some benefits to a State-based CDS, these would come at a significant cost.  Litter rates of beverage containers would decrease, and there would be benefits to Local Government; however, the cost to industry (and probably to Tasmanian consumers as industry passes on increased costs) would be a net cost to Tasmania of $86 million (NPV) over 21 years.

In December 2014, the Tasmanian Government accepted the findings of the MJA analysis, and the Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage announced the decision not to proceed with the introduction of a State-based CDS system.

The Government’s decision emphasised that Tasmania would continue to participate in national work to address litter and waste from packaging. This has included the national Packaging Impacts Study, which examined a range of national options for improving the recovery of packaging materials, including beverage containers, and reducing litter. Collaboration with the Australian Government and the other State and Territory jurisdictions will continue to address these issues.

Read the MJA Final Report here.

2009 - Feasibility Study for Container Deposit System

2018 - A Model Framework for a Container Refund Scheme in Tasmania

In June 2004 the Tasmanian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Environment, Resources and Development commenced an investigation into Waste Management in Tasmania.

The Committee's final report included a recommendation that the State Government introduce a container deposit system (CDS) in Tasmania, subject to its viability and effectiveness being supported by a cost-benefit analysis.

In December 2008 the then Environment Division contracted an environmental consulting firm, Hyder Consulting Pty Ltd, to study the best model for a CDS in Tasmania, should one be introduced. Hyder's Final Report examined container deposit systems in Australia and overseas, and assessed options for a Tasmanian system.

The report concluded that a ‘hybrid’ CDS built around the most effective elements of existing interstate and overseas systems has the potential to improve recovery of beverage containers in Tasmania. However, the report also demonstrates that establishing and operating a CDS would be a complex and challenging process requiring very careful consideration by the community and the State Government.

Hyder Final Report – Feasibility of a Container Deposit System for Tasmania

Marsden Jacob Associates - Final Report - Tasmanian CDS Cost Benefit

Environmental Policy and Support Services Section
EPA Tasmania, DPIPWE
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 4599  Fax: 03 6173 0254
Email: Enquiries@epa.tas.gov.au