Woolworth's Latest Act Of Deceit

It appears that once again Woollies in embarking on a course to illustrate their dishonesty and deceitfulness.
Their act of attempted deceit, as reported by Nine.com.au today, is the claim by Woollies that the proposed introduction of a container deposit scheme in Western Australia would increase packaged drink prices by up to 60% and add an extra 15 cents to the price of a $1 drink.
However, a cursory look at their new catalogues which start tomorrow reveal a very different story. The pricing of most items is the same in Cairns, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin and Sydney, but there is a variation in regard to drinks which are subject to the container deposit schemes.
On page 1 is a 24 can carton of Coke for half price. Cairns & Perth, $14.10. Adelaide, $15.40. Darwin, $16.17. Sydney, $15.90. The most expensive is Darwin at an extra 9.042 cents per can.
On page 10 is 1.25 litre bottles of soft drinks for half price. Cairns & Perth, $1.10. Adelaide, $1.15. Darwin, $1.20. Sydney, $1.17. Once again Darwin is the most expensive at an extra 10 cents per bottle.
These are the differences in relation to half price specials which one would expect to be far less profitable than what Woollies would make when they are sold at full price.
Woolworths are quoted as claiming that recycling costs will be prohibitive in WA due to the geographic distances and low population groups in the state but considering that NT is even more isolated and has a much smaller population, this is hardly credible.
Ah well. Never let the truth get in the way of your vested interests.


It isn’t deceit as the container deposit scheme in Western Australia is slated to commence in 2020, so there should not be any changes to prices in 2018.

One has to also remember that container deposit schemes exist in NSW, SA and NT, so the catalogue prices would include the relevant deposit…unlike that for the WA catalogue prices.

Woolworths and other food retailers are possibly correct in the impact of the price of some items at the cash register. If it is modelled on the NSW scheme, the manufacturer imposes the deposit on goods it manufacturers. The cost of the deposit is then passed through the wholesale costs to the supermarket and ultimately the consumer. This net increase in cost, if there were no additional costs to anyone in the supply and distributuon chain, would be zero if the container is returned for deposit and credit is given to the consumer for the returned container.

However, there are administration costs which can be indirectly imposed through the adoption of the scheme.

If a product is low cost, then the percentage increase in cost can be significant, especially if the deposit is not claimed back.

Furthermore, in NSW it has been found that only about 2/3 (from memory) of deposits are collected by the manufacturer have been returned to the consumer, through container returns. They have found that many rural consumers and those with low incomes/elderly (and those who can’t be bothered) haven’t been returning the containers as it either is not cost effective (a rural consumer costs to return are higher than the deposit) or inconvenient (such as not having a car to get to a return facility). If the deposit is not claimed by the consumer, the manufacturer currently keeps the deposit and it is added to their bottom line.

The above is one of the challenges of implementing such schemes as it can impose additional costs on those who are least able to afford additional costs.

Possibly a positive outcome is it could be like a sugar tax, many processed products which contain added sugar are likely to be in deposit packaging. If the cost goes up, the demand may go down.


I am well aware that SA has had the container deposit scheme for many years, followed by the NT a few years ago, and more recently by NSW, and that Qld will implement it this year with WA still working towards it.
My post was to expose the blatant hypocrisy of Woollies in the media in relation to their claims in trying to prevent the implentation of the scheme in WA, especially in regard to their claim that it would lead to a 60% increase in the price of a 24 pack of their “still water”.
Whilst I could not find any listings for “Woolworths Still Water” on their websites, there are listings for “Woolworths Spring Water” which I presume that their spokesperson was actually referring to.
A search of their websites in Qld, WA, SA, NT, NSW, Tas, & ACT displayed the following prices for a pack of 24 bottles of “Woolworths Spring Water”.
Cairns $6.00
Perth $6.00
Adelaide $6.00
Darwin $6.00
Sydney $6.00
Hobart $6.00
Canberra $6.00
So, does it not seem extremely strange that the price of the Woollies Still or Spring Water could rise by some 60% as claimed by their spokesperson today when, according to their websites, they currently sell it for the same price nationally?

P.S. That’s why I pick Coles & Supa IGA,


I am not sure how you did this as the Woolworths site using andriod chrome uses ones IP to determine location automatically…the website doesn’t appear to allow one to set ones location for online pricing? The location setting only appears to be for the weekly catalogue. Maybe someone from each of the states can confirm the local Woolworths prices. I can confirm that QLD is $6 for rhe 24 pack of bottled water.

Here is the link to the bottled water in question:

It is possible that you may be showing your local price of $6 for all the othwr Australian locations you think you may have ‘selected’.


I actually used Microsoft Edge (IE 11) to check each State and deleted the browser history between each search.


Just tried the Edge on our desktop and can’t see where one can change the location. The location can be selected for catalogues, but this does not change the pricing for online prices. For example, the catalogue pricingfrom SA for say a bottled product is different to the price for the individual product searched using tthe item search function.

One can also select the nearest store to a particular postcode/suburb/town but thus again does not change the pricing as it still appears to defsult back to the location one is doing the search. The same applies when changing the pick up store location.

For the $6.00 Woolworths water, there should be an additional $2.40 ($0.10/bottle) deposit added for those customers buying in SA. I don’t think Woolworths would be abrorbing the cost of the deposit and selling their water for $3.60 in SA.

We just need a forum user to click in the link in my previous post and provide us with the local SA cost of the same water, available in non-container deposit states for $6. This will give s indication of the cost impact of the contaimer deposit scheme in SA.


I clicked on your link and it showed $8.40; outer suburban Melbourne.


It appears that I did catch myself out with trying to access interstate stores pricing.
However, this morning I used my good old-fashioned mobile phone to call stores in Darwin, Adelaide and Sydney and ask what their price was for 24x600 ml bottles of Woollies spring water, with the following results.
Casuarina, $8.00. Unley, $8.00. Haymarket, $8.40.
So, it still shows the claim of a $3.60 rise in the price of a pack of water to be false, as well as refuting the claim that WA would have to be more expensive than Sydney.
I rest my case (of Woollies water).


Not really. Woolworths appears to have assumed that the container deposit in WA could have a cost impact of $0.15, which means a 24 pack of water would increase by $3.60. It may be the media which is putting unnecessary emphasis on the potential price nincrease, assuming deposit is not refunded to the consumer.

Until any parliamentary bill has been legislated and implemented, one won’t know the actual deposit amount per container. There seems to be many reports as well as introductory information from the WA government, that it is likely to be similar to other states, that being $0.10 per container.

Woolworths as well as many other parties lodged submissions on the proposed WA container deposit scheme. Its submission, as well as others can be found here:



The article indicated that Woollies expected it to be 10 cents as per all the other States and Territories but proceeded to claim it could be a total of 15 cents based on the “geographical distances and low population groups” yet in the NT which is more isolated and has a vastly smaller population, they charge only an extra 8.33 cent per bottle for their spring water.
They also claimed that WA would be more expensive for the container deposit scheme than Sydney but they are currently charging more in Sydney and Melbourne than they are in Darwin and Adelaide, an additional 10 cents per bottle as opposed to 8.33 cents per bottle.
Sorry. Unlike their bottles, their claims do not hold water.


Only time will tell.

Maybe rail freight to Darwin is cheaper than road freight to Perth? This would affect a heavy product such as bottled water.

The easy solution is reduce ones reliance on single use bottles/containers buy drinking tap water or buying beverages in larger containers/or minimising consumption.

What has been shown is the container deposit system does impact directly on retail prices, and makes purchases mor expensive especially if the container deposit is not claimed.


On a slightly different note, I am sceptical of some of the claims regarding people not bothering to get refunds under the container deposit schemes.
Whilst buying a pie for lunch last week, I observed an older person picking up several aluminium soft drink cans which were in the gutter outside the bakery and putting them in his 4WD in which a lady was sitting. The gutter had some water in it after the recent rain.
Perhaps he was collecting them to sell for their scrap metal value but I suspect he is getting ready to hit the ground running when the Qld scheme is operational later this year.
The Qld Premier recently commented on the scheme stating that in the case of persons who choose to continue to place their refundable items in their kerbside collection bins, it will be a bonus for their local Councils.
I strongly suspect that our local Council members and staff are rubbing their hands with glee as they anticipate a much needed bonus after the recent recycling bans by China.
Instead of selling the aluminium cans for a fraction of a cent each and being faced with either stockpiling the glass and plastic bottles or sending them to landfill, they will be able to turn every one of them into 10 cents of value.
Likewise, the Council mower operators and other employees who collect applicable containers and other rubbish dumped on the median strips and roadsides will also be able to boost the Council’s coffers.
One thing that would really give the scheme an added boost would be to also including junk food packaging from McDonalds, Hungry Jack’s and others, such as cardboard containers, drink cups, paper bags and the like that I see littering our roads every day.
Whilst it may not change the behavior of these litterers, it would certainly contribute to offsetting the costs of cleaning up the mess that they create.


No need to be skeptical, it is a reality. There have heen many reports in the media about the failure of consumers to collect the deposits they paid when making the purchase.

Here are a couple:

The main challenge faced is the cost (in dollars and time) to return containers to one of the return centres/machines. Using the NSW example, they installed 400 such locations statewide at fhe commencement of the scheme. This provides an average density of one centre every 2000 sq km or average separation of about 90km between centres. Now, most of these centres have been installed in the major cities such as Sydney, Newcastle, etc, making the rural densities even lower than the average calculated above.

If one for example returns 100 containers (abiut 4x24 container packs), this equates to a $10 refund. Assuming ones has say a medium sized car and using RACQ car running costs, if the car travels over 14km return trip then reurning the containers is starting to cost one more money than the value of the returned containers. Add in ones time, then one only needs to travel even shorter distances before the payback disappears.

If one does not have or drive a car, which includes many elderly and low income earners (plus increasing younger generation), then returning the containers becomes an impracticable impossibility (imagine trying to taken 100 uncrushed bottles and containers on public transport to the nearest centre.

The additional $0.10 per container in effect becomes a levy or tax on those individuals which don’t participate in the scheme…most often due to its impracticabities.

Unfortunately it is a reality whuch is often ignored by those who promote such scheme.

You have hit the nail on the head. Most litter is generated from from convience foods and where waste receptacles are lacking or poorly maintained. Containers bought from supermarkets, bottle shops etc usually don’t become litter as they are consumed in the home or in places where bins are frequent (place of work, schools etc). This is where most elderly for example, purchase container foods. The blanket approach is easier to implement and administer, but causes shortcoming.


In SA its been going for 40+ years without too many issues or a palava. Sky hasn’t fallen, life has found a way and any bump in the road has been navigated!


Just shy of 80% return rate its literally ingrained in SA society (much like Japanese cleaning up after world cup matches). This is what the point is its about societal change in regards to recycling.

Reporting after a 3 month period that societal change hasn’t happened over night or scaremongering about the ‘cost’ is just Journo’s going for those eye grabbing headlines or lobby groups trying to squash this from spreading.

That is the entire point of this though its a lazy tax. (its also early days and as things move on more and more locations will be available etc).

Just need for more locations to popup etc. More rural ones you might find one of the local businesses become a drop off locale.


The Container Deposit Scheme could be regarded as a litter tax.
For those consumers who choose not to participate for whatever reason, someone else will benefit.
For containers that are not returned by anyone, the Government will benefit.
For containers placed in recycling bins, the local Councils will benefit, as they will also do from items they collect which have been discarded along roadways and pathways, and in parks, playgrounds and gardens.
For members of the public who collect unwanted or discarded items, they will benefit. A great opportunity for enterprising kids to supplement their pocket money.
When I was at school, my mates and I would ride our bikes all over Cairns and outlying areas collecting unwanted bottles and newspapers from homes that did not want them as well as picking up discarded bottles in public areas. On one occasion when we divvied up the money, I was able to buy a board game that I wanted that I otherwise would not have been able to afford.
When our kids were young, in addition to their plethora of sporting commitments, we would drive them to public areas such as parks, gardens and roadsides to collect aluminium cans. A local scrap metal dealer was the agent for some recycling company which had a program whereby they were awarded points for the crushed cans which our kids used to buy sporting equipment and bikes from the range of available awards.
It didn’t do them any harm. Our son has 3 degrees and is the GM of an ASX listed company, our elder daughter’s husband is a maintenance manager with one of the world’s largest gold mining companies, and our younger daughter is a criminologist.
A few weeks ago, I read an interesting article regarding a young NSW girl around 8 years old who is already saving up for her own home by collecting containers. She has friends, neighbours and others who keep the items for her and her mother drives her around to collect them and to take them to the refund site. She collected $80 the first week and averages $50 per week.
As the old saying goes “What is one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.


A decade or so ago, there was an older Indigenous man who I am sure had previously worked for our local Council at the now defunct landfill tip.
After he had presumably retired, we would regularly see him riding his bike around Cairns with a large hessian sack resting across the handlebars and holding a rope in his hand which was the leash for his beautiful black miniature poodle which was always happily trotting beside him.
He appeared to be spending his days collecting aluminium cans that had been tossed from vehicles or by others onto the roadsides, presumably so as to help supplement his pension.
I imagine he would have been delighted if he had had the opportunity to be able to receive 10 cents a can instead of a mere pittance, but nevertheless, he did it anyway.
This man and his poodle was a sight my wife and I will always remember and sadly miss.


In the end the trusty consumer always seems to pay more.

I now have to buy something to put my dog “mess” in, instead of using a Coles or Woolies “single use bag”.




I preferentially use junk mail, though I guess a lot of newspaper for the “news” it carries could be considered junk.


Those political mailers would be very appropriate, but probably no more suitable than anything else those senders perpetrate.

Excepting for the free weekly throw paper that is ever smaller and probably inadequate, subscriptions are quite expensive these days. Newspaper (newsprint) seems to be going the way of the commodity horseshoe…