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Starving to death on a stomach full of plastic - What's stopping a national 'Cash for Containers' scheme?

Following Coca Cola's victory in court ruling the Northern Territory container recycling scheme invalid, the drinks company continues to trash a popular and proven 10 cent recycling refund scheme and is the main blocker standing in the way of a national roll out.

‘Cash for Containers’ has run successfully for 30 years in South Australia, where recycling rates are almost double those across the rest of the country.

Coca Cola has for years sought to undermine this proven system, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on misleading advertising and reportedly threatening to campaign against MPs who support the policy.

Clean Up Australia estimates that 48% of all rubbish picked up on Clean Up Australia Day are drink containers. Scientists estimate that up to a third of all marine debris globally comes from the beverage industry alone.

The Flesh-footed Shearwater (pictured above) from pristine Lord Howe Island is one victim of this plastic pollution. The one pictured had 274 pieces of plastic in its stomach, 15% of its body weight - equivalent to a human carrying 12kg of plastic in their stomach.

This bird, like many other thousands, starved to death on a stomach full of plastic.

On Thursday April 11, Environment Ministers will meet at COAG to determine a national roll out of a 'Cash for Containers' scheme and it is vital that State Premiers, especially Barry O’Farrell and Denis Napthine, side with the environment and make their support for a national scheme known.

Source: Press Release from Greenpeace, 25 March 2013