Proposed changes to South Australia’s deposit scheme for wine bottles is set to hit wineries, but according to Cellar Door Manager, Ms Susanna Pearce from Kellermeister, Lyndoch the costly impact of re-labelling, accounting costs and re-design could be harmful for the industry.
“There would be pros and cons if the changes get the green light,” she told The Leader.
“Obviously from a business perspective there is a lot of background work and accounting costs involved.
“There are things to consider like re-labelling, re-design and costs for implementing the programme.”
The refund scheme which was introduced in 1977, currently excludes wine bottles, plain milk containers of any size, fruit juice one litre or more and flavoured milk one litre or more.
Under the new scheme, the state government is also seeking support to add the other exempt drink containers to the scheme, allowing the public to receive a 10 cent refund.
The state government is inviting the public to vote on the idea until November 19, as part of a move to create a $70 million economic boost.
Ms Susanna Pearce acknowledged that “On the flip side as a consumer, it’s a great thing for sporting groups and community groups because it’s an extra product that people can gather and then use fundraising for their non for-profit business so it’s a positive from that perspective.”
Since the scheme was established, wine bottles have been exempt on the basis they represented less than 0.04 per cent of the state’s litter stream.
Despite generating 70 million in extra revenue for the recycling industry, depending on the results of the consultation, adding wine bottles to the scheme could create a costly impact on the industry according to South Australian Wine Industry Association chief executive, Mr Brian Smedley.
Ms Pearce said another aspect that needs to be taken into account is the lead times of implementation.
“We also don’t want to be marginalised,” she added.
“The unknown thing is that we aren’t sure if it will just be for the South Australian wine industry or will it be in other states?
“Otherwise, you will see an unfair affect for the SA wine industry.”
Despite the unknown, Ms Pearce said Kellermeister already recycle all of their wine bottles and implement environmentally friendly actions.
“Another positive thing about the change could be that it might encourage people to recycle more,” she added.