Cash In: You Can Now Score Refunds in Queensland for Recycling Glass Wine and Spirits Bottles

Queensland's Containers for Change refund scheme has expanded, now offering ten cents for each glass wine and spirits bottle.
Sarah Ward
Published on November 01, 2023

Goodbye gin shrine, hello doing the environment a solid and scoring some cash. If you'd like to turn your empty glass spirits bottles into money, you now can in Queensland.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023 marks five years since Queensland's Containers for Change refund scheme launched, encouraging folks to recycle their drink containers — and also giving everyone who participates some funds back for their efforts. How is the Sunshine State marking that milestone? As announced earlier in the year, it's expanding the scheme to say cheers to glass wine and spirits bottles (after you say cheers to them yourself by sipping their contents, that is).

The refund system has proven popular over its run so far, receiving more than 102-million empty drink containers in its first two months, rocketing up to over 400-million containers in its first five months and currently sitting at more than seven-billion recycled containers as at mid-September 2023. Expect those numbers to grow with its big upcoming change, which was first floated back in November 2022 and has now kicked in.

Accordingly, your at-home cocktails and vino sips can now help the planet, with each bottle between 150 millilitres and three litres scoring you a ten-cent refund. You'll just need to take the glass remnants of your dinner party or after-work drinks to one of the scheme's 360-plus collection points, as is the case with other containers.

The CRS, as the program is also known, previously only accepted water bottles, beer cans, juice containers and more — saving a hefty amount of aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard items from landfill and our waterways, with a focus on beverage containers between 150 millilitres and three litres in volume — but glass vino and spirits bottles weren't covered. To decide whether to change that state of affairs, the Queensland Government ran a consultation period, with 6600-plus folks providing their thoughts, 98.1 percent of which were in favour of adding more containers to the refund program.

Queenslanders can still keep popping their glass wine and spirits bottles in their yellow bins at home — and not getting any money in return — if that's easier.

Need some motivation to hit up a CRS collection point with your bottles instead? The 7.1-billion containers recycled before now equates to $710 million in refunds.

Glass wine and spirits bottles have been added to the Containers for Change program effective Wednesday, November 1, 2023. For more information about Containers for Change, visit the scheme's website.

Published on November 01, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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