Queensland’s container refund scheme has seen half-a-billion containers returned since the start of November 2018.
The Containers for Change scheme has contributed to the creation of 640 jobs and it has encouraged a greater emphasis on recycling by residents.
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said this milestone shows the strength of the scheme, which provides financial incentives for recycling cans and bottles.
“More than 173,000 Queenslanders also now have a scheme ID, which shows Queenslanders are really getting behind the initiative,” she said.
When people take their bottles and cans to be recycled, they can choose to get the 10-cent refund or choose to donate that money to charities or community groups.
With half-a-billion containers returned, more than $50 million has gone back to Queenslanders, charities and community organisations.
“About 3400 community groups, schools, charities and sports clubs are benefitting from the refunds,” Enoch said.
Along with the benefits to individuals and charities, the scheme also helps reduce litter in the environment, with studies conducted since the scheme started showing a 35 per cent reduction of containers ending up as litter in the environment, Enoch said.
Mark O’Brien, chairman of Container Exchange – the non-profit organisation that runs the scheme, said new refund depots have been opening up across the state, including at Eagle Farm, Atherton, Beaudesert and the Boyne Island in recent weeks.
“We now have more than 275 container refund points throughout the state providing customer access to container refunds,” O’Brien said.
With proven success in states such as Queensland, there is scope for other states to implement similar schemes. While some have implemented Container Deposit Schemes (CDS), such as the NSW government, others are yet to introduce a CDS.
Most recently, the Western Australian government announced it has chosen and organisation to deliver the scheme.
In mid-May, not-for-profit organisation WA Return Recycle Renew was announced as the scheme coordinator in WA.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the CDS scheme will start in the state in early 2020.