Photo by maria mendiola on Unsplash

The giant global beverage behemoth the Coca-Cola Company is clearly as presumptuous and entitled as its livery.

A heartbeat away from its vicious and highly funded campaign to stop consumer deposit schemes to lessen the dreadful plastic pollution in our waterways and oceans, it’s got the nerve to try to take control of Victoria’s soon to be implemented container refund scheme. With the help of fellow drinks merchant buddy Lion.

What are these two thinking?

According to Jeff Angel, director of the Boomerang Alliance, which pretty much singlehandedly led the campaign to re-introduce container deposit schemes to the states and territories where they’d been ditched, the public is not fooled.

A change.org petition launched by the group is “quite damning of Coke – people obviously remember what they did,” Angel said on Thursday.

“Coca-Cola and Lion spent millions of dollars trying to stop a CRS when the idea was first raised but a major community campaign defeated them.

“Now we need to ensure they don’t get their hands on the scheme in Victoria.”

To be blunt the more containers are recycled the more it would cost Coke and Lion. So logic tells us that, umm, they may lack the incentive to make the scheme work as best as possible, given that they worked so hard to stop the whole program coming into effect and that to the best of our knowledge they are firm adherents of the profit motive.

Coke says on its website that it supports the scheme.

“To keep our bottles and cans out of oceans or landfill and make sure they have another life, Coca-Cola Amatil supports cost-effective, well-run container refund schemes across Australia which reduce litter and increase overall recycling rates.”

But it turns out you can have such a scheme but run it poorly.

In Queensland there are half the number of recycling points per head of population as elsewhere and many are open far less often than in NSW.

Angel says the scheme works poorly there precisely because it’s dominated by the terrible two.

Now they want to take Victoria.

Clean Up Australia’s chair, Pip Kiernan said: “As the last mainland state to adopt a container refund scheme, the people of Victoria deserve the best they can get.

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  1. Its the neo-liberal model – take something over (e.g. government, or in this case a public benefit scheme) and run it poorly so it can’t succeed (or at just sputters along in a barely compliant manner). It’s way more effective than trying to stop the thing in the first place. Just ask the people behind Trump and his ilk – they couldn’t be happier!