Why you are about to pay more for beer but not wine

If you're a beer drinker, as of November 1, you’re about to pay more for bottles of your favourite brew.
If you're a beer drinker, as of November 1, you’re about to pay more for bottles of your favourite brew.

If you're a beer drinker, as of last Wednesday, you’re about to pay more for cans and bottles of your favourite drop.

 The price of beer is about to go up - but only if it comes in a bottle or a can.

And it’s all thanks to the NSW government.

However, if you drink wine or spirits, you won't see any price rise since Wednesday.

Again, that’s thanks to the NSW government.

On Wednesday, November 1, the prices on some beverages went up as part of the government’s container deposit scheme.

You haven’t heard about it?

Well, that’s okay – almost no-one has. 

What it will do is see around 10 cents added to the price of most bottled and canned beverages – including beer.

The idea is that you then take your empties to a collection station and get that money back.

The price of beer goes up from today, Wednesday, to an estimated $3.40 a case; however the collection side of the equation doesn’t kick in until December 1.

That’s apparently so that the scheme can build up a float in preparation for the redemptions to start in December.

It’s a very, very oddly designed scheme.

For instance, the fact that beer is included while wine and spirit bottles are excluded is fundamentally unfair.

Though the government reckons it's because those beverages are “consumed at home and are not regularly found in the waste stream”.

Also, it punishes those of us already doing the right thing by putting these cans and bottles in our recycling bins.

If we buy some beers and want get our money back we have to take those beer bottles out of the recycling bin, put them in a box and then schlep them to some collection point.

The scheme was inspired by a desire to reduce litter.

That’s a noble aim, but to charge some people more and let other skate by doesn’t seem fair at all.

  • Glen Humphries is a Fairfax Media journalist