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Cabinet Approves Environment Management (Waste Disposal And Recycling) (Amendment) Regulations 2011
Cabinet has approved the Environment Management [Waste Disposal and Recycling] [Amendment] Regulations 2011, and the Environment Management [Container Deposit] Regulations 2011.
The Regulations provide the legal framework for the establishment of the Container Deposit and Refund Recycling System.
Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Minister for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment, Colonel Samuela Saumatua.
The Minister explained that Fiji consumes some 50 million containers of beverage per annum, and few of these containers are recycled and many (millions) are discarded improperly.
“Large quantities of used beverage containers end up as litter on streets, in waterways and beaches. Many containers flow out to sea harming our marine life.”
He said that in June this year, Cabinet agreed to the setting up of a Container Deposit and Refund Recycling System to create an incentive to ensure that all beverage containers are recycled.
The Minister explained that the Container Deposit system starts with the producers and importers adding a compulsory deposit for every beverage produced or imported.
“The deposits from the producers and importers will be paid into a revolving fund to be managed by the Managing Agency.
“Retailers will then sell the beverages to consumers with the increased compulsory deposit amount to reflect the deposit paid by the producers or importers.
“After consumption of the beverage, the consumer can return the used container to licensed collectors and claim a refund of their deposit less a handling fee. If the consumer discards the container, someone else can pick it up and claim the refund, which allows for stimulation of new businesses in Fiji.
“The collector will buy used containers from the consumer for a lesser amount and then bring the collected materials to the processor for recycling. The processor will pay the collector the initial sum for every container.
“The processor can then claim a refund of the initial sum from the Managing Agency which will administer the revolving fund.
“The processor will bale and export the beverage containers for financial profit.”
The Minister said that Environment Management [Waste Disposal and Recycling] [Amendment] Regulations 2011 amends Part 7 of the Environment Management (Waste Disposal and Recycling) Regulations 2007 to encompass not only producers' of plastic bottles but also producers of other beverage containers including glass bottles and aluminium cans.
He said that the Environment Management (Container Deposit) Regulations 2011 outlines the details of the Container Deposit system and includes specific roles and responsibilities of each entity involved.
“It ensures proper financial accounting and clarity as to how the entity should be administered.”
The Minister said that the Container Deposit Regulations also establishes the non-profit entity, the Managing Agency, to administer the deposit and refund system.
The Regulations come into effect on a date to be determined by the Minister.