Five billion containers have been refunded through Queensland’s Container Deposit Scheme

By Nicholas Scaltrito 25 July 2022

In under four years, Queenslanders have returned 5 billion containers for recycling through the state’s Container Deposit Scheme, helping to reduce litter and waste to landfill.

Containers for Change, Queensland’s Container Deposit Scheme, has announced they have collected five billion containers for recycling since the scheme began in November 2018. That has resulted in over $500 million of refunds that have gone back into the hands of everyday Queenslanders or donated to charities and community groups.  

Container Deposit Schemes (CDS) are one of the first types of environmental legislation to focus on the ‘polluter pays’ principle, where beverage suppliers are responsible for funding a refund for returned drink containers. Eligible containers can be taken to a collection depot or placed in a reverse vending machine to claim a 10c refund. 

Queensland’s CDS has prevented thousands of tonnes of bottles, cans and juice poppers from ending up in landfill, all while Queenslanders receive cash back for their efforts. Estimates from Queensland’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan suggests there has been a 35 per cent reduction in beverage container litter across the state, reducing the amount of rubbish that ends up polluting waterways and the environment.  

Through Containers for Change and the state government’s Recycling Jobs Fund, over eight hundred jobs have been created. Furthermore, since 2018, more than $7 million has been donated to charities and community groups through refunds from collected containers. 

Due to the success of the scheme, the number of available refund points has increased, improving accessibility across the state.  

Virginie Marley, interim CEO of Container Exchange (the non-for-profit that runs the container deposit scheme), says there are more ways than ever for people to cash in or donate their containers. 

“In 2022 alone we have added dozens of new container refund points to the network across Queensland, from one of the most remote towns in Australia in Birdsville to some of the country’s business shopping centres, the network has more than 360 container refund points and counting,” she said. 

The future for the CDS in Queensland includes a trial of a free home collection service, drive through depots, bag drops, and reverse vending machines. For more information on what types of containers are eligible and to find collection points, visit the Containers for Change website. 

To find out what is happening with the CDS in your state, visit Recycling Near You

Nicholas Scaltrito
Nick joined Planet Ark in 2021 coming from a background of graphic design and marketing communications. A self-described “jack-of-all-trades’, Nick likes to channel his helpful nature and enthusiasm for change in all aspects of life from his social life and work to his community volunteering.