Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Brewery Bottle Wars; Fury over Bottle Deposit Scheme Costs

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Brewery Bottle Wars; Fury over Bottle Deposit Scheme Costs

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Anthony

THE container deposit scheme being introduced into NSW may save the environment, but it could cost some small businesses their livelihood.

With the scheme introduced on November 1, confusion still reigns among businesses, particularly those on the Tweed, as to exactly how it will work.

For Pickled Pig craft brewery owner Paul Brewer, there have been no clear guidelines as to what is involved and how he is expected to deal with his product going across the border.

Under the scheme, all bottles, cans and plastic containers will carry a logo indicating they can be returned to designated collection sites for a financial refund which will go into an account.

While those returning the containers will be eligible for 10 cents on each coded container, the cost to Mr Brewer is far greater to comply.

"At this stage, I have received no hard correspondence and the people that I have talked to over the phone are either unclear as to what I should do or seem completely disinterested," he said.

"The scheme was introduced on November 1 and that means that I have to register every size of container - cans and stubbies - that we fill here at $350 per size and we have four different sizes here and then there is the cost per container - for a stubbie that's 13.9 cents each.

"It doesn't take much to realise that's a big addition to your production cost and I am only a small brewer, imagine some of our larger local brewers and what that will mean to them and their volumes."

Mr Brewer said on top of that, he had to include a recycling logo on every can or bottle that left his brewery but was still waiting on receiving the official artwork from the government.

"I have already got several thousand dollars worth of printed cans and labels in stock ready to go that don't carry the logo - what am I meant to do with those?" he said.

"As a producer of product, I am the one that has to carry the financial load and impost on my beers and have no option but to include that in the price."

But being close to the border, Mr Brewer pointed out that until such time as Queensland introduced a similar type scheme - mooted for around July next year - he would have to have two different price lists for his beers and ciders - one for NSW and one for Queensland. …

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