Punishing the puncture faeries

Victoria’s new bottle recycling scheme and the hope of a puncture-free future for bike riders are both a little closer.

In a move it says will reduce Victoria’s litter by up to half, the State Government has announced its container deposit scheme will begin on 1 November.

Glass shards from road debris are the major cause of punctures in Victoria, whereas nails, burrs and thorns more commonly plague riders other states.

With no container deposit scheme for glass bottles in Victoria, too many have ended up on road verges where they are crushed by vehicles into tiny shards which, especially when lubricated by water in winter, easily wriggle their way through bike tyres.

A network of Victorian charities, community groups, environmental groups, sporting clubs and educational organisations—keen to raise funds—will be able to receive container donations from the community, run a refund collection point or host a container collection drive.

Used drink cans, bottles and cartons can get a 10-cent refund.

VicReturn will coordinate the scheme and Visy, TOMRA Cleanaway and Return-It will run operations at more than 600 refund collection points across the state.

Within 12 months of the scheme starting, the network operators will be required to have a minimum of one collection point per 14,500 people in metropolitan areas, at least one per town of 750 people in regional areas, and at least one per town of 350 people in remote areas.

Eligible containers include: Non-concentrated fruit or vegetable juice, flavoured milk, beer, soft drink, and mixed spirits

Glass wine bottles, spirit bottles and plain milk cartons will not be included in the scheme as they are generally consumed at home and recycled in household recycling bins.

More information on the scheme here.

“Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme will maximise the number of cans, bottles and cartons being recycled into new products, put extra cash in Victorian pockets and will reduce the amount of litter in our environment by half," says Environment Minister, Ingrid Stitt.

Member for Albert Park Nina Taylor says the scheme is "a great opportunity for Victorians to help clean up our environment, while helping sporting clubs and community groups to raise valuable funds through collection drive events and donations".

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