Progress welcomed on packaging waste solutions Fri 24 August 2012 Brian Wightman Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage The Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Brian Wightman, today welcomed further progress on national solutions to addressing the impacts of waste from packaging. Mr Wightman said that at today's meeting of the Standing Council on Environment and Water, Ministers had agreed to develop a Decision Regulatory Impact Statement for consideration by the Council at its first meeting next year. "There's a clear community expectation that we need to do more to tackle the impacts of packaging waste, to increase recycling and to combat littering," Mr Wightman said. "One option that we are continuing to explore is a national Container Deposit Scheme. "The strong public support behind this proposal has been reflected in debates in the Tasmanian Parliament, which has passed a number of motions supporting such a scheme. "This has included tripartite support in the House of Assembly for the introduction of a national scheme." "At today's meeting I articulated the Tasmanian Parliament's in-principle support for a CDS. "I certainly appreciate that some industry stakeholders believe that a CDS would lead to increase in costs that they may need to pass on to consumers. "But whatever policy Australian environment ministers decide on to increase recycling of packaging waste, it will be one which recognises that the packaging and beverage industry have some responsibility for dealing with packaging waste from their products. "I do applaud the industry for the steps it has and is taking to help address packaging waste, for example through the rollout of their National Bin Network and the commitment to the Australian Packaging Covenant. "But I think it's clear that we need to do more - the public is expecting us to do more, and further investigations into a Container Deposit Scheme and other options are warranted." Mr Wightman said the Tasmanian Government may consider a state-based scheme, if a national approach to packaging waste did not eventuate.