Coke, other beverage companies, fight Australian bottle bill

Coke, other beverage companies, fight Australian bottle bill

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

In Australia, a trio of drink companies has succeeded in mounting a legal challenge against a beverage container deposit system in one of the country's territories.

The Northern Territory government contested the suit brought by Coca-Cola Amatil, Schweppes Australia and Lion Pty, Ltd. against its bottle deposit law, which attaches a 10-cent refund to certain bottles and cans, according to The Australian. The deposit law went into effect January of last year and has encouraged people to recycle 35.5 million containers since it went into effect.

However, the beverage companies succeeded in challenging the program on grounds that it violated a fairly arcane part of the country's federal law, reports ABC News.

"This is a big blow for the Territory, it's a real setback," Terry Mills, the chief minister of the state, told the ABC.

A petition demanding that Coke drop the suit gathered over 111,000 signatures.

"Coke claims the program is a tax that hurts its sales, but container deposit programs have been implemented throughout the world, and studies have shown that there's no evidence for Coke's argument," Kaytee Riek, campaign manager for SumOfUs.org, an advocacy group seeking to check corporate power, in a prepared statement. "Coca-Cola's crusade against recycling is just knee-jerk anti-environmentalism."

In the wake of the court's decision, consumers have attacked Coke on social media, threatening to boycott the company, reports adelaidenow. The NT government plans to appeal.

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