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WA plans 10 cent bottle and can deposit scheme

Anyone with a harebrained plan to take cans and bottles over to South Australia or the Northern Territory by mail truck to try and profit from their 10 cent refund scheme can, finally, just calm down.

A container deposit scheme is likely to be introduced in Western Australia from mid-2018.

Under the scheme, approved by Cabinet but may need a legislative change, the 10 cent refund for drink cans and bottles could be claimed from a collection depot or reverse vending machine.

WA Environment Minister Albert Jacob said he expected reimbursements could go directly onto credit cards.

The state opposition proposed such a scheme in 2011 but the Liberals and Nationals didn't support it.

"When they proposed this option, we were engaged in the COAG process ... to support a national scheme," Mr Jacob told reporters on Wednesday.

"That has since fallen by the wayside."


Premier Colin Barnett said the state government decided to go its own way after NSW announced it would introduce its own container deposit scheme, which the ACT and Queensland also plan.

Mr Barnett said the scheme wasn't designed to attract green votes in the March state election, but hoped it would.

WA Labor leader Mark McGowan said he would put it in place as soon as possible if he wins the 2017 poll.

"Its a pity this was not done years ago," Mr McGowan said.

"This is something I and the Labor party have long pushed for and it is good to see Mr Barnett finally come to his senses."

Mr Jacob said the scheme would require start-up costs, using surplus funds from the Waste Avoidance Levy, but would eventually be "self-funding".

He also said he would consult with Coca-Cola Amatil, which had opposed the national scheme because it did not want to pay for the refunds.

South Australia's litter stream has only 2.2 per cent drink containers, compared with 13.2 per cent in WA.

Anyone familiar with Seinfeld will remember The Bottle Deposit episode when Newman, upon realising he could get a 10 cent refund on cans and bottle in a different state, illegally uses his mail delivery truck to implement the scheme with Kramer.

It did not work out well. 

- with AAP

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