CCA says NT recycling plan 'old fashioned'

Coca Cola Amatil (CCA) has branded the Northern Territory's cash-for-containers recycling scheme as old fashioned and inefficient and says it will increase the price of soft drinks.

The food and beverage company's chairman David Gonski says CCA's own scheme will be much more effective and cost less.

CCA and fellow soft drink companies Schweppes Australia and Lion have successfully applied to the Federal Court to have the NT's container deposit scheme declared invalid.

The NT's cash-for-containers scheme was similar to a long-running one in South Australia in which consumers pay a 10-cent deposit on drink purchases, refundable when the container is returned to a recycling agent.

Mr Gonski told the company's annual general meeting in Sydney on Tuesday that the NT's scheme would not be as effective as the industry's own cheaper plan to reduce waste and would raise the prices of their products.

The company's plan involves using lighter bottles and more recycling bins.

"We support a national industry funded recycling system which targets all litter not just PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) containers," he said.

"We do not support container deposit schemes because they are old fashioned, inefficient and very costly for families.

"In our view the last thing Australia needs is a tax on beverages."

However, protesters and shareholders voiced their disapproval of the company's stance, saying the container deposit scheme had been successful in South Australia and should be implemented across Australia.

"South Australia's recycling rate is double the rate of the rest of Australia," Greenpeace's Michael Parsons said outside the meeting.

Shareholder Virginia Wilson said the container deposit scheme had worked well in South Australia and could not understand why something was bad just because it was "old fashioned".

"What's the matter with old fashioned?" she asked.

"We have container deposit legislation in South Australia and only four per cent of containers are found in litter.

"That's a stark contrast to the 40 per cent of containers in the eastern states."

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