Price freeze to help keep drink prices low

A price freeze on the amount drink manufacturers pay into Queensland’s container refund scheme will help keep packaged drink prices stable.
Container Exchange (COEX), the not-for-profit administrator of the Containers for Change scheme in QLD, today announced a six-month price freeze on the amount paid by beverage manufacturers to fund the scheme, to help the industry through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The freeze will assist the industry to keep drink prices stable with no increased cost pressure on manufacturers from the per-container fee they pay.

The price freeze has no impact on the legislated 10c per container refund for the hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders who return bottles and cans to recycling points throughout the State.

Under the scheme, beverage manufacturers pay an average 12.8c (including GST) per can or bottle sold in Queensland. The 10c refund comes out of that fee, with the remainder funding the more than 100 scheme businesses which run the scheme and employ more than 650 workers.

The scheme price was due to be reviewed in line with alcohol excise prices in August.

COEX Chief Executive Ken Noye said: “Freezing the scheme price that manufacturers pay will help keep drink prices stable for Queensland consumers.

“We know a lot of smaller manufacturers such as craft brewers and juice companies have been significantly impacted by the closure of venues and events through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Freezing the scheme price will help give them certainty and assist in keeping their costs stable.

“We have frozen the price until February 2021 to help those manufacturers keep producing and keep their employees working.”

Mr Noye said the price freeze would not affect the 10c refund to Queenslanders who returned containers to recycling depots.

“Queenslanders have embraced the container refund scheme since it was launched 18 months ago,” he said.

“Every day Queenslanders return an average four million containers to our 300 refund points across the State.

“The refund points alone have now refunded more than $180 million to Queenslanders who collect and return bottles and cans.

“There are also more than 3000 community groups such as charities and sporting clubs registered with the scheme and getting extra funding by collecting and returning bottles and cans.

“Recycling containers has become a terrific extra source of fundraising for community groups, as well as keeping our environment clean.”

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