About Containers for Change

Queenslanders use close to 3 billion beverage containers every year.

These containers are sadly the second most littered item in the state, despite the fact they can be easily recycled. Beverage container litter is largely associated with drink consumption in open air settings such as parks, beaches, shopping centres and car parks.

The introduction of the state-wide container refund scheme, Containers for Change, gives people an incentive to collect and return containers for recycling, in exchange for a 10 cent refund payment. This will help to:

  • reduce the amount of drink containers that are littered and,
  • increase Queensland’s recycling rate.

The scheme also provides benefits to social enterprises, communities, and regional and remote areas by creating new job, recycling and fundraising opportunities.

Containers for Change commenced on 1 November 2018 and, three and half years on, has more than 350 container refund points in operation across the state.

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Queensland has one of the most beautiful natural environments in the world but it's also one of the most littered States in Australia.

Around 3 billion beverage or drink containers are used in Queensland each year.

Unfortunately, many of these drink containers end up as litter.

In fact, they are the second most commonly littered item, ending up on our streets, parks, beaches and in rivers and oceans.

Many of the drink’s containers are made of plastic.

Plastic litter is a huge problem globally because plastic litter can take hundreds of years to break down.

It poses a real threat to our marine life and the health of our local waterways.

The good news is the Queensland Government’s container refund scheme will start on the 1st of November 2018.

The scheme will reduce the impacts of drink container litter and help our environment and our communities at the same time.

It will help increase recycling rates by providing an incentive for people to ‘do the right thing’.

And for many rural and remote communities in Queensland that don’t have yellow-top kerbside recycling services, the scheme will give them access to recycling for the first time.

Based on results from similar refund schemes around the world, it’s estimated that around 80% of bottles and cans will be collected and recycled once Queensland’s scheme begins.

It will also create and support new employment and business opportunities in recycling and collection for many local communities throughout the state.

How does a container refund scheme work?

When the scheme begins, a network of container refund points will be set up across the state.

So… say you buy a bottle of soft drink at a store.

A refund of 10 cents will be available to you when you return your eligible drink bottle to a container refund point.

In some places across Queensland, you’ll be able to return your eligible containers to a reverse vending machine – for example at a shopping centre.

The empty container will go into the machine, and your 10 cent refund will go back into your pocket or you will get a voucher redeemable at a local shop. It’s as simple as that!

You can also collect your 10c refund at a dedicated container refund point. You can choose to collect containers in bulk to save making multiple trips to get your refund.

Alternatively, you could take your containers to a community refund point, which may be located at your local sports club, charity, school or community group.

By doing this you’ll be donating your 10 cent refund to this community group, who will then be able to claim the refund for themselves.

Simply by recycling, you can also give back to your local community and help make a real difference.

Or you can continue to recycle your empty containers using your local council’s yellow-top kerbside recycling bin.

Once collected, used containers will be transported to a recycling centre to be sorted and made into new products.

So, you just need to work out which option is most convenient for you. Get a refund or donate—it's your choice.

What’s an eligible container?

Most beverage containers made from glass, plastic, aluminium and Liquid Paper Board between 150ml and 3 litres will attract a 10 cent refund.

There will be a special refund mark on eligible containers to identify if it can be recycled through the scheme.

Not every container will be eligible. There are exceptions like plain milk, some fruit juice and health tonics. These won’t have a refund but should still be recycled.

On the 1st November 2018, Queensland’s container refund scheme begins.

It's up to you to get involved and make Queensland a cleaner and more resourceful community.

Let’s support a recycling scheme that gives back.

Queensland Container Refund Scheme, it just makes sense.


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How the scheme works?

Queenslanders can return eligible containers via a container refund point. Container refund points have been established across Queensland to collect eligible empty containers in exchange for the payment of a refund.

For Queenslanders who prefer to donate their drink container to a community group, sports club or another organisation, container return points can direct the 10c refund payment to a registered group. In addition, some groups will run their own container donation points at which the refund payment will be retained by them.

To learn more please visit the Containers for Change website.

How the scheme was established

Containers for Change is a product stewardship arrangement with the costs of operating the scheme and recovering the containers for recycling, paid for by drink manufacturers. This means that drink manufacturers take responsibility for ensuring that the environmental impacts from the empty drink containers are reduced.

The Queensland Government appointed the industry-based, not-for-profit group Container Exchange (CoEx) as the Product Responsibility Organisation (PRO), to develop and run the container refund scheme in Queensland.

The PRO is responsible for ensuring that an effective and efficient scheme operates in Queensland, and that there is convenient and state-wide access to container refund points.

CoEx has been appointed as the Product Responsibility Organisation (PRO) because it has the structure and experience required to undertake this product stewardship scheme.