- Created on Saturday, 28 April 2012 07:33
Environmentalists and local residents today welcome the return of Captain Cook and his advocacy for a container deposit scheme (CDS) to clean up the Cooks River and many other rivers, streams and beaches suffering from beverage container litter.
[The event including a refund stall, giant bottle float and bottle fishing will take place between noon and 1pm, 28 April at Steel Park, Illawarra Road, Marrickville South]
The famous explorer, who came to Botany Bay 242 years ago, will meet on the river bank with federal environment minister, Tony Burke who is overseeing the COAG group of environment ministers which is due to make a decision on a national CDS.
“Captain Cook’s return highlights just how badly the river and many other urban streams in Australia have been and continue to be polluted with plastic bottles and cans. In recent months the Cooks River has been a highway for many hundreds of containers floating up with every tide”, said Jeff Angel, Executive Director of Total Environment Centre and National Convenor of the Boomerang Alliance of 19 environment groups.
“We estimate 8 billion beverage containers are littered or landfilled every year. We are calling on Tony Burke to lead the environment ministers in an historic decision to implement a national CDS which will clean up this mess quickly and effectively. And it works financially unlike industry alternatives which depend on government and business grants.”
“Local community groups and residents have been disgusted at the pollution that persists due to resistance by beverage companies to a CDS and lack of action by governments. A container deposit system works in many countries and, of course, has in South Australia for over 35 years,” said Judy Pincus, President of the Cooks River Valley Association.
“Opinion polls have consistently shown 80-90% public support for CDS. Surely the ministers can see the political, social, economic and environmental sense in a national scheme. We know that companies such as Coca Cola oppose it but it is now time to stand up to them,” said Mr Angel.