The NSW Environment Minister, James Griffin MP is reported to have commented in the media last week* saying he doesn’t believe industry’s claims of an annual $30m cost to wineries for his proposal to include wine bottles in the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS).
The Minister’s comments were made despite his own department’s independent report containing cost estimates to wineries adding up to $30m each year. The report also says costs to the wine industry associated with CDS compliance require stakeholder consultation to check their assumptions.
Mr Mark Bourne, President of NSW Wine Industry Association commented “We have calculated at least $30m in costs each year to wine producers using the EPAs’ own estimates, including the 10% cost increase in the CDS scheduled in four months. I don’t know where the Minister is getting his numbers from, I would suggest he needs to read his own report.”
The Minister and EPA is not recommending the option of a fourth glass-only kerbside bin at homes, despite their own report stating it will generate the largest benefits, including higher recycling rates and less waste going to landfill. The EPA report also recognises that wine bottles make up a small fraction of the litter stream.
Instead, the EPA and Minister is proposing to take wine bottles out of household recycling bins and send a $30m+ bill every year to family-owned wineries that will result in less benefits for the environment. All because they don’t want to pay for a better solution.
Mr Bourne added “We are currently modelling the real costs to industry, and at this stage we fear it will be higher than the $30m estimate, all for less than a 1% reduction in litter.”
NSW Wine wholly supports genuine efforts to improve the recycling of glass but including wine bottles in the CDS just doesn’t stack up on any level and looks like a de-facto tax or wealth transfer from businesses in the bush to a cartel of big companies that manage and run the Container Deposit Scheme.
NSW Wine is again urging the NSW Government and Opposition to put this plan in the recycle bin where it belongs. And for Minister Griffin to genuinely listen and engage with industry on the ground, about the impacts of his proposal for the environment and for grape growers and winemakers across regional NSW.
Mark Bourne, President NSW Wine P: 0409 902 982 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee McLean, General Manager Australian Grape & Wine P: 0418 998 749 E: email@example.com