Coke container deposit challenge faces fight

The Northern Territory Government says it will fight a legal challenge by Coca-Cola Amatil over the validity of its container deposit scheme.

The scheme was first introduced in the Territory by the former Labor government at the start of the year and encourages people to return cans and other containers to approved depots for a 10 cent refund.

More than 35 million containers have been returned for recycling since January.

Chief Minister Terry Mills says the Government will be asking the Federal Court of Australia to settle the continuing legal argument about the scheme.

A similar scheme has operated in South Australia for many years and there is mounting pressure to take it to a national level.

Mr Mills said the Government would fight the legal challenge in the interests of consumers, the recycling industry and the Territory as a whole.

"I know that Territory families now utilise it (container deposits) daily as a means of reward-based recycling," he said.

Coca-Cola Amatil is seeking to have the challenge heard as early as next week.

Mr Mills says he is concerned for the many Territory businesses with a financial interest in the scheme.

"They need certainty and they need it now," he said.

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