AFGC criticises Greenpeace CDS action

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has criticised Greenpeace’s recent activism at Coca-Cola Amatil’s (CCA’s) Sydney headquarters, calling it “yet another example of the environmental lobby trying to pull the wool over consumers’ eyes.”

Greenpeace activists suspended a giant banner, picturing a dead albatross with plastic waste in its stomach, in protest against CCA’s battle with the Northern Territory Government over the NT Container Deposit Scheme (CDS).

“The environmental lobby advocates a system that will cost consumers at the check-out,” said AFGC CEO Gary Dawson. “Nowhere in the world is there a drink container deposit scheme that is free to consumers.”

But Greenpeace argues that we can’t afford not to implement the scheme. “Each year Australians consume around 14 billion drink containers and less than half of these are recycled,” said Greenpeace campaigner Reece Turner. “This means more than 7 billion cans and bottles go into landfill and much ends up polluting our parks, beaches and oceans.”

The plastic waste is having a devastating effect on marine birds, Greenpeace says, with up to 85% becoming entangled or consuming plastic waste. A significant proportion of Australians support the CDS, a Greenpeace statement said, and the South Australian CDS has seen bottle recycling in the state rise to 81% - around twice that of other states.

The AFGC claims a CDS would cost up to $1.76 billion to implement. “Industry wants more recycling and less litter and we have a plan to deliver it at no cost to consumers,” Dawson said.

“That’s the plan that Australia needs, not an inconvenient and costly drink container tax.”

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