AUSTRALIA is moving closer to the introduction of a national container deposit system, with key independents lending their support to the scheme at Parliament House on Monday.
Federal MPs Andrew Wilkie, Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott and Adam Bandt have welcomed the campaign which comes on top of a recent statement by Environment Minister Tony Burke announcing that he also backs a national container deposit system.
Jeff Angel, National Convenor of the Boomerang Alliance, the body comprised of Australia's leading environmental groups, said this was a positive step in the lead-up to state and federal environment ministers making a decision on the scheme on 24 August.
"This will be a crucial moment in a 10-year campaign which has attracted such strong community support.
"With the political will, legislation could be passed later this year," he said.
"We're hopeful that a positive decision will be made, but we're certainly not taking anything for granted.
"What we do know is that all the opinion polls show that a national scheme has 80%-plus public support.
"I talk to people and they say 'Why can't we have what South Australia has?'"
As part of the campaign, Mr Angel and other members of the Boomerang Alliance delivered a plastic bottle - one of the eight billion sent to landfill every year - with a personalised message to every parliamentarian.
He said that criticism from industry groups about manufacturing job losses and increased operating costs, if the scheme was introduced, were "a complete lie".
"When you look at all the research, a CDS (container deposit system) is the only option that delivers a sustained reduction in container litter, creates a surplus that can be used to solve a variety of recycling and packaging issues, helps charities and generates several thousand jobs," Angel said.
The scheme would be similar to South Australia's container deposit system, which has been in place for over 30 years.