Australian Senator arrives at Parliament dressed as a beer bottle

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Family First Senator Steve Fielding arrived at Parliament today, dressed as a beer bottle to raise awareness of a bill he intends to move in the Senate today. Senator Fielding will introduce a bill to establish a nationwide refund scheme for bottles and cans.

A similar scheme has operated in South Australia since 1977.

Family First wants a rebate of 10 cents per container, while the Australian Greens want 20 cents.

Speaking to reporters outside parliament dressed as a beer bottle, the Senator said the legislation would reduce litter by 25 per cent. "There's a message in this bottle."

"I am no longer trash, I'm cash."

"We should get the litter off the streets and off the creeks and into recycling - that's good for the environment and good for the community"

"It's a win-win and I can't understand why nationally we don't have a scheme," said Senator Fielding.

Senator Fielding said that recycling not only reduced litter, but also consumes less energy than making new containers from scratch. "Recycling a plastic bottle saves more than 80 per cent of the energy used to make a bottle from scratch and recycling aluminium cans uses just five per cent of the energy used making a can from scratch," said the Senator.

Senator Bob Brown, leader of the Greens said while there were environmental benefits from recycling, it would also create thousands of new jobs.

"This is a very good way of recycling and reducing energy because a lot of energy goes into making cans and bottles," Senator Brown told reporters.

"It will employ tens of thousands of people across Australia."


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