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Why New Zealand Needs to Implement a Drink Container Refund Scheme

Woman holding disposable cup of coffee
Posted: 04/23/2018 at 4:46 AM   /   by   /   comments (0)

Woman holding disposable cup of coffeeAre you willing to pay extra for the price of plastic bottles and get the same amount if you return the containers for recycling? Zero Waste New Zealand believes this could be a sustainable solution.

The group believes that a drink container deposit scheme would curb a mounting problem on landfill sites. It could also provide households with another way to make money, apart from selling old appliances and whiteware to scrap metal buyers.

Refund Scheme

Zero Waste NZ director Marty Hoffart said that an estimated one billion out of 2.23 billion used plastic containers are sent to landfill every year. Under the refund proposal, an additional 10 cents would be added to the price of bottled beverages. Consumers may then reclaim this amount for each container that they bring to recycling centres.

While it seems small, imagine if you drink at least five plastic bottles every day. You can easily do the maths to find out how much you can make by just turning in used containers. Other countries such as Australia have adopted the scheme and Hoffart said that New Zealand should follow suit.

Economic and Job Growth

Recycling not only helps reduce landfill mass but also support the economy and jobs. Scrap metal recycling, for instance, has been a good way to get rid of your old whiteware at home and earn some money at the same time.

Hoffart expects recycling rates to reach around 82 per cent if the country implements the refund scheme. The current recycling rates in the country are between 40 and 45 per cent. Research also shows that 2,500 new jobs and $645 million in economic activity could be generated from this initiative.

Households should do their part in reducing the amount of waste on landfill sites. Think twice before discarding items such as plastic containers and scrap metal. Don’t miss the opportunity to earn cash in the process and save the Earth!