The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) today released the details of its Thirst for Good proposal – an innovative scheme to achieve the NSW Government’s commitment to reduce the volume of litter across the state by 40% by 2020 in a cost effective way.

CEO of the AFGC, Mr Gary Dawson said industry recognises they have a responsibility to help keep our environment clean and fully supports the Government’s litter reduction target.

“The beverage industry believes the first priority of any waste solution must be a cleaner NSW, but it must also minimise the cost impact on consumers and industry, avoid duplication of existing waste collection and disposal infrastructure and ensure NSW remains an attractive place to do business,” said Mr Dawson.

Thirst for Good has been designed to plug the gaps in the State’s existing litter and recycling infrastructure and meet the Government’s objectives without increasing costs for consumers, impacting industry sustainability or duplicating existing infrastructure.”

“Motivated by the Government’s vision, Thirst for Good goes beyond a narrow focus on beverage containers to target all litter in order to achieve the government’s target, with modelling showing a 30% reduction in litter in the first year.

Thirst for Good is an industry funded scheme that will see manufacturers pay a deposit of approximately half a cent per container to generate funding of $15 million annually, providing a modern litter reduction solution for NSW.”

The Submission details Thirst for Good’s five key programs

  1. Cash for Communities” – Every council in NSW will be provided with a trailer and collection cage. These will be given to local community groups including local sporting clubs, not for profits and charities to collect containers for a financial reward of at least $300. On the basis that a new community group receives the cages each week, up to 7000 groups could benefit annually
  2. 100 additional litter collectors to target litter hotspots in NSW that are not currently serviced by existing waste collection.
  3. 2000 additional bins for councils to use in litter hotspots and funding for councils to empty and maintain the bins
  4. 100 Reverse Vending Machines in public areas where large numbers of drinks are consumed. Rewards such as tickets to movie premieres and sporting events will motivate people to recycle their containers.
  5. Increased funding of education to change behaviour and reduce volumes of litter in the system over time

“The Thirst for Good proposal builds on the integrated approach to litter reduction the NSW Government is currently using; education and awareness, improving infrastructure, regulation and enforcement and evaluation and monitoring. Thirst for Good is also aligned with the NSW EPA’s Litter Prevention Guidelines,” said Mr Dawson.

“Industry has almost 40 years’ experience operating refund container deposit schemes in South Australia and the Northern Territory. We believe the litter reduction needs of NSW are different to those of South Australia in the 1970’s when they introduced a refund CDS. It will achieve the Government’s litter reduction target without adding unnecessary costs, complexity and red tape or undermining the very successful and convenient kerbside recycling system.”

Thirst for Good is the right solution for NSW in 2016,” concluded Mr Dawson.



AFGC Media Contact: James Mathews 0407 416 002