In Search of a Can(cer) Cure

My wife and I did a 7km walk yesterday afternoon as training for the Women’s Cancer fundraising campaign she is involved in.

Apart from joining in on some training sessions I am donating $20 from each Pocket Pal children’s pocket money system I sell between now and July 31st.

Order from and $20 of the $24.95 price for each Pocket Pal you purchase will go to Women’s Cancer Research.

Anyway my wife and I decided to take a few plastic bags with us to pick up any aluminium cans we might find during our walk. Our intention was to give them to a friend who collects and then sells Aluminium cans to a scrap metal dealer, depositing the money into her grandchildren’s bank accounts.

I have to say I am horrified with what we found.

There are people who desperately want to come and live in Australia but we don’t let them in because we’re afraid of what they might do to our country. Well we certainly need to have a serious look at what we’re doing to it ourselves! I don’t think any of the people we’re trying to keep out could do more damage than we’re doing ourselves!

My wife and I ended up having to leave heaps of cans where they were because we simply could not carry them all and the bottles and other rubbish we also saw was just horrendous.

Here are the cans we picked up in maybe the first 4km.

Aluminium Cans recovered from roadside

What a disgrace!


Why is this happening? People obviously don’t care!


And the number of alcoholic drink cans we saw was really scary. Drinking alcohol while driving is obviously rampant!


What can we do about it?

Container Deposit Legislation is already in place in SA and NT but we need all states to come on board so people either do not discard their cans and bottles in the first place or someone else is motivated to go and pick them up.

Many years ago most towns had a local soft drink factory that used glass bottles. When you purchased a drink you paid a significant deposit that was refunded when the bottle was returned to be cleaned and reused. This recycling required a significant commitment and no doubt increased the cost of the product.

Then throw away bottles were introduced by the large manufacturers and the geographical constraints that had previously limited them disappeared because they no longer needed to recycle. The small local factories could not compete and they just disappeared.


This is where a significant part of our roadside litter problem began! Clearly we have a people problem as well but tackling that one will be much harder.


Clearly we are not going back to local factories and refilling glass bottles but we do need to go back to having a significant deposit to seriously reduce inappropriate disposal and to make recovery more attractive.

Currently the Eastern States are making noises about introducing legislation but I think the proposed deposit amount of 10c per container should be higher. I remember in 1970 paying 15c for a bottle of soft drink at the school tuckshop and when I finished the drink I would return the bottle for a 5c refund that would then buy me an ice block (yep I’m getting old!). I don’t think 33% of the full price is appropriate now but 10c is not enough of an incentive to change behaviour.

Anyway as far as I’m concerned we can’t get a uniform national deposit scheme soon enough because roadsides are currently being used as rubbish dumps and there is no incentive to clean them up!

If you agree with me why not write to your local state politician and let him or her know you want to see this to happen ASAP as well.

Oh and don’t forget to help me help my wife raise funds for Cancer Research! Visit