The Federal Court, last month, ruled in favour of the beverage company after it argued the Northern Territory government’s 10c deposit recycling scheme – introduced in January 2012 and similar to a scheme that has been running in South Australia since 1977 – was costly and ineffective.
Coke had argued the extra 10 cents added to its products was unfair to consumers, despite the fee being refundable. Coke called it a “green tax”.
Angry consumers have taken to Coca Cola Amatil’s Facebook page to voice their fury at the firm for abolishing the deposit scheme, with some consumers threatening to boycott Coke’s products.
One customer wrote: “Bad move. Bad corporate citizenship. You’ve lost me as a customer for all your products.”
Another wrote: “My family believe in recycling so no more Coke products for us ever again.”
Coke, along with drink firms Lion and Schweppes, took the government to court to challenge the legal validity of the container deposit scheme and, last month, the Federal Court ruled in its favour.
In a statement to PN, a Coca Cola Amatil spokeswoman said: “The comments on Coca-Cola’s Facebook page are largely the result of an online campaign by Greenpeace. We agree that recycling is important. We also agree that Coca-Cola has a role to play in helping to increase recycling and reducing litter.
“However, we do not agree with Greenpeace that container deposits are the best way to improve recycling in Australia and we’re ready to explain why to those on our Facebook page who have questions.
“Our fan page is the sixth largest Facebook community in Australia, with more than 930,000 members. We are happy to participate in discussions with our community and regularly receive comments on a wide range of topics. We moderate our page twice daily because what our fans think is important to us.
“We do not oppose recycling – we oppose container deposit taxes. CCA, along with Lion and Schweppes, opposed the legal validity of the NT scheme – which was upheld by the Federal Court. CCA is not, and has never been opposed to recycling – we just think there are better ways of achieving maximum recycling rates for all litter, instead of the narrow, old-fashioned and extremely expensive CDL schemes. It’s not just industry that says CDL schemes cost money - the Council of Australian Governments found the cost of a national CDS to the economy would be between $1.4 and $1.76 billion.”
Coke said it supported a broader recycling scheme such as the National Bin Network.
Coke also said that “things were moving in the right direction” and “under the current industry driven schemes, the recycling rate for all packaging in Australia has increased from 39% in 2003 to 63% in just eight years.”
As PN published this story this morning nobody from Greenpeace Australia Pacific was available for comment. However, an environmental group Clean Up Australia spokesman said: “We think it’s fantastic the response on social media by the public who can see through the propaganda and false claims made by Coca Cola Amatil.
“The response has actually been overwhelming to us, it never fails to amaze me how Facebook and Twitter can get behind campaigns and really drive them forward.
“The backlash against Coca Cola, Lion Nathan and Schweppes on their social media sites has been amazing and good on people for standing up for what they believe. Coke is trying to tell us that a National Bin Network is the best option, but the evidence does not point towards this. A container deposit scheme is the only way forward and is proven to work.”