The levy funds the drumMUSTER and ChemClear programs for collection and recycling of agvet chemical containers and safe disposal of agvet chemicals.
Since the ACCC first authorised the levy in 1998, the drumMUSTER program has diverted 32 million containers from landfill, and the ChemClear program has resulted in over 661,000 litres of agvet chemicals being collected for safe disposal and recycling.
“These programs mean collection and recycling services are provided at no further cost to purchasers of agriculture and veterinary chemicals included in the scheme,” ACCC Commissioner Roger Featherston said.
“As a result many more containers and chemicals are returned and safely disposed of, which reduces the negative environmental, health and safety consequences of improper disposal, leading to better outcomes for farms and the environment.”
In the current application, AgStewardship intends to increase the levy from four cents per litre or kilogram to six cents per litre or kilogram, to keep pace with increased expenses and to fund improvements to the programs. This is the first increase in the levy since it commenced.
The ACCC is proposing to reauthorise collection of the levy, at the higher level, for a further five years, as requested.
The drumMUSTER and ChemClear programs have been running nationally since 1998.
Currently 116 manufacturers of agricultural and veterinary chemicals participate in the scheme. AgStewardship estimates this covers in excess of 90 per cent of the manufacturers of agvet chemicals in Australia.
“This is an impressive level of coverage, but if more manufacturers can be encouraged to participate in the scheme, then it should achieve even greater environmental and other public benefits,” Mr Featherston said.