Victorian government commended for commitment to CRS accessibility

14 April 2021

The Victorian government’s announcement of the split responsibility Container Refund Scheme (CRS) has been hailed a strong commitment to access, accountability, and ultimately, to a scheme that will greatly benefit the entire Victorian community.

The government released its CRS framework today and despite relentless lobbying from VicRecycle, it has not bowed to pressure and has stuck to its guns to ensure an open market where all will have equitable access to the scheme.

“The Minister must be congratulated for sticking to a split responsibility model and going to market through a transparent and public tender process that is open to all interested parties. Her decision today shows that the government is committed to designing a scheme that will give the Victorian community maximum access and benefit,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, said.

“It is only through this proposed framework do we avoid a monopolist beverage-designed scheme, ensuring there is genuine balance of power, which manages the inherent conflict of interest associated with beverage where higher container return rates impact their commercial interests. WMRR has, and continues to advocate that there is a role for all industries in the Victorian scheme and there is nothing to stop interested parties from all sectors participating in the public tender for a role.

“Victoria can now embark on a detailed design and tender process for a Victorian CRS that is accessible to the community, is incentivised to grow as container returns ramp up, drives recycling, reduces litter, adds a new income stream and jobs for Victorians, and creates a remanufacturing sub-sector that uses Australian recycled containers.

“Now that we have the chosen CRS design, it’s time to move forward and start building a strong scheme for the good of the community and environment. The public tender presents an opportunity for all parties to prove their suitability to the roles on offer and efforts should be channeled to the tender, and not wasted on mindless politicising of empty rhetoric,” Ms Sloan said, adding, “WMRR would also encourage Victoria to go one step further than any other state, given its commitment to Recycling Victoria and require all containers registered under the scheme to contain Australian recycled content. Not only would this make the Victorian CRS a brilliant product stewardship scheme, it would really mean more and more jobs for Victorians!”