How 10c can change Australia

Contribution from the Boomerang Alliance, 10 October 2013

You may have recently noticed a provocative advertisement showing seabirds falling from the sky – it was made to bring your attention to the fact that our ocean’s wildlife are the innocent victims of plastic pollution – your coke bottle or lid. The ad was made by Greenpeace, one of the 27 members of the Boomerang Alliance which has been campaigning for a national Container Deposit System (a 10c refundable deposit on beverage containers) in Australia for the past 10 years.

Then again you may not have seen it at all – no commercial television station has been brave enough to run it, which has led to the Where’s Barry? Appeal aimed at getting the NSW Premier to watch it. You can catch both on the video section of the Greenpeace Australia-Pacific website:

The mission of this campaign is simply to reduce the 8 billion bottles and cans which are currently ending up as land fill and litter each year. More than 40 governments around the world have effective Container Deposit Systems (CDS) and we want Australia to be the next. It will double our national recycling rate for bottles and cans and significantly reduce litter that ends up on our roadsides, parks, in the rivers and oceans. 86% of Australians surveyed support it!

It’s now crunch time for a national CDS. Until the end of October you’ll be able to spot a stunning photograph on buses in Sydney and Melbourne. The 1 Million Women Ambassador, model and environment scientist Laura Wells, is pictured lying on Maroubra Beach in the style of Max Dupain’s ‘Sunbaker’, surrounded by bottle and can litter instead of golden sand. The message is Stop Trashing Australia and support container deposits.

We’ve also been running online and paper petitions to urge our politicians to stand up to the big guys Coke, Lion and Schweppes who continue to oppose CDS – calling it an expensive and inconvenient system. In 2012 the Northern Territory Government stood up to the beverage industry and started their own Cash for Containers. It was challenged in the Federal Court by Coca Cola, Schweppes and Lion (who won!), but it has recently been rescued by all the State’s Premiers. Yay NT!! Meanwhile South Australia has had a highly effective Container Deposit System since the 1970’s!

This movement is about providing a better future for our kids and a healthier planet! Imagine no more plastic bottles lying around, no more crushed cans in the gutter and even less hazardous broken glass in parks.
You can join the millions of Australians who support this campaign. Visit and like our Facebook page by searching “cash for containers” and find out more ways to take action at and check out this great little clip from Greenpeace:

We are daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers getting on with practical climate action to live better for us and the planet. Join the movement at