New 'plastic tax' may add over $300 to household grocery bills

As Australian families brace for the impact of carbon tax on their household bills, a new “plastic tax” is set to deliver another shock.

A controversial new scheme that proposes to levy a tax on glass and plastic containers could see a family’s average grocery bills go up by more than $300, the Herald Sun reports.
                                                             
The plan would see a 10c deposit fee imposed on each plastic or glass drinks container, to be refunded if the shopper returns the empty bottle.

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The Australian Food and Grocery Council has warned extra transport and set-up costs would drive prices up at the worst possible time.

An AFGC-commissioned analysis conducted by ACIL Tasman reveals that the scheme could cost some families up to $470 a year more as the new charge pushes up prices on drinks containers by 20c.

Industry experts say it could mean paying $4 more for a case of beer.

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The analysis, as quoted in the Herald Sun, shows middle-income families could expect to pay an extra $312 a year for their groceries and low-income families could be slugged $137, while the wealthiest 20 per cent could expect a $473 rise.

The overall average is a $306 per annum price hike.

According to news reports published on Saturday, the Greens are heavily lobbying for the container deposit scheme to be introduced nationwide and the federal government supports it.

The Greens have introduced legislation in federal parliament in an effort to force the states into a national scheme.

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AFGC spokeswoman Jenny Pickles has called on the government to abandon the plan, which was "another tax that will push up the cost of grocery bills for families".

"Cost-of-living pressures are already hurting families. The last thing they need is another tax on basic groceries. Just as they're dealing with hikes in electricity and gas bills, they'll also have to pay more for milk (and) soft drinks, and beer could go up by an extra $4 a slab,” Pickles was quoted as saying by newspapers.

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