The cash for cans scheme is being opposed by three leading drinks firms

The 'cash for cans' scheme is being opposed by three leading drinks firms

A lawyer acting for Coca-Cola Amatil, Schweppes Australia and Kirin Holdings-owned Lion has told a court that an Australian recycling scheme is a form of “prohibition” and against federal law, according to local reports.

The three companies have made a legal application to have the Northern Territory scheme – known as “cash for cans” - deemed invalid. The initiative involves customers paying a AUD0.10 deposit, which is refunded when returned to be recylced. 

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that, in court yesterday (19 February), Bret Walker, representing the three drinks companies, said: "There's a case that there's a prohibition, or a conditional prohibition ... it's a restriction of the sale of goods in the territory."

However, Northern Territory solicitor general, Michael Grant QC, told the court that the scheme does not impose any prohibition on the sale of beverages, it was reported. "It's a law regulating the sale of beverages in only one particular aspect ... concerned not with whether beverages can be sold but how they can be sold," he said. 

A decision on the legal challenge is expected at a later date, it was reported.

Separately, Coca-Cola Amatil yesterday reported a drop in full-year group net profits but a rise in sales, helped by its beverage unit.