The ACT’s Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission will monitor the prices of soft drinks in recyclable cans and bottles for 13 months from this June as the territory's container deposit scheme begins. Transport and City Services Minister Meegan Fitzharris officially tasked the commission with the price monitoring role this week to ensure beverage retailers do not increase prices above the expected costs of the scheme. The commission will start monitoring the impact of the scheme on the price of drinks in recyclable containers, as well as competition, a month out from the July 1 start date, and continue for a further 12 months. It will also examine the impacts of the scheme on suppliers of the drinks and report back to the government in July 2019, including any recommendations to address ‘adverse effects or behaviours’ as a result of the scheme. The scheme will allow residents and community groups to get a 10 cent refund for each recyclable container, such as cans, glass and PET bottles, they drop to a recycling centre. But that 10 cents is expected to be passed on to the consumers of such drinks in the purchase price, costing consumers $49 million over 20 years, for a likely environmental benefit worth up to $71 million in that period. A spokeswoman for Ms Fitzharris said beverage suppliers would fund the 10 cent refund and other costs associated with the scheme, but that 10 cents was expected to be passed on to consumers. “It is expected that beverage suppliers and subsequently retailers may incre ase the price of their beverages to pass these costs onto consumers,” she said. “This is why as part of the scheme the ACT Government has established a price monitoring process to identify any excessive costs that are passed onto consumers. “Monitoring measures will focus on retailer beverage pricing in the ACT prior to and following the commencement of the scheme.” The NSW government is also midway through a similar price monitoring regime for its container deposit scheme, a report of which is expected to be released in December this year. Ms Fitzharris’s spokesman said while the monitoring program was not included in the original scheme scope, it was under consideration, and the government had since decided to have it completed to ensure beverage prices were not increased above the expected 10 cent increase.