About the container refund scheme

Queenslanders use close to 3 billion beverage containers every year.

These containers are 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 a state-wide container refund scheme 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.

Queensland’s container refund scheme commenced on 1 November 2018, with more than 230 container refund points in operation across the state. The number of these sites will continue to grow as the scheme rolls out.

Funding is also available for small-scale infrastructure projects that improve access to container refund and donation points in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and to help community groups, charities and not-for-profit organisations set up donation points to collect containers.

Queensland Container Refund Scheme video


During extensive public consultation on the discussion paper Implementing Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme (PDF, 3.1MB), released in 2017, the Queensland Government received overwhelming public and community support for the introduction of the scheme.

See a summary of results from the consultation - Implementing the Container Refund Scheme in Queensland (PDF, 305KB).

Introducing the container refund scheme

Queensland’s container refund scheme is known as Containers for Change.

The Scheme 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 has 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.

How will the Container Refund Scheme work?

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 about Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme, please visit the Containers for Change website at