THE Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley is set to pressure Victoria to introduce a 10-cent can and bottle scheme before 2023.
The Victorian government has indicated it will adopt container deposits in that year, becoming the last state in Australia to agree to the recycling measure.
The move will end frustrations for NSW Border retailers whose beverage trade has been affected since their state government rolled out on a cash-for-container scheme in 2017.
Ms Ley said she was very pleased Victoria was introducing a deposit but would encourage that state's Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio to apply it sooner.
"I may well ask the Victorian minister 'what would it take to introduce the scheme earlier?' because I did look at it (2023) and was disappointed," Ms Ley said.
The Victorian government cited the need for consultation with industry and councils for the delay.
"I think that's a little too far out," Alliance director Jeff Angel said.
"I think they could pass legislation this year, sort out the tenders and start at the end of 2021."
Albury IGA grocer Bob Mathews said delaying it until 2023 was detrimental to southern NSW vendors.
"That's nearly four years of continuing problems and there are going to some retailers that potentially won't survive," Mr Mathews said.
Mr Mathews, who met member for Albury Justin Clancy with fellow retailers on Friday, said he would like the NSW government to extend compensation for Murray beverage sellers until 2023.
"They have to come up with a lump sum and say that's what we get," Mr Mathews said.
Mr Clancy said he would be making the case to the NSW Small Business Minister Damien Tudehope that compensation continues until Victoria's scheme starts.
Mr Mathews also suggested Ms Ley could use Victoria's move towards container deposits to introduce a national scheme.
Ms Ley said that was not possible.
"We can't because it comes from a municipal system of waste, so it really comes from a state area," Ms Ley said.
Member for Benambra Bill Tilley echoed his Liberal Party colleague, saying states are responsible for waste management.
He said how glass and cans were recycled as part of the container deposit system was crucial, given the Victorian government's problems with waste management.
That was involved large amounts of recycling material being put in landfill and a huge fire at recycler SKM's Melbourne site in 2017.
"Victoria is coming from a long way behind here and the current administration has failed," Mr Tilley said.
"We've seen fires and massive amounts of storage of waste."