Queenslanders Will Be Able to Score Refunds for Recycling Glass Wine and Spirits Bottles From November

Get ready to score ten cents for each glass wine and spirits bottle, with Queensland's Containers for Change refund scheme expanding.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 21, 2023

When Wednesday, November 1, 2023 rolls around, it will have been five years since Queensland's Containers for Change refund scheme launched, doing the planet a solid by encouraging folks to recycle their drink containers — and also giving everyone who participates some cash back for their efforts. How is the Sunshine State marking that milestone? By 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 6.4-billion recycled containers. Expect those numbers to grow with its big upcoming change, which was first floated back in November 2022, and is now confirmed to kick in this year.

Accordingly, your gin shrine will be able to 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 at-home cocktails to one of the scheme's 360 collection points, as is currently the case with other containers at the moment.

The CRS, as the program is also known, currently accepts 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 aren'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.

"Plastic bottles, cans, poppers and very soon glass wine and spirit bottles will all give you a ten-cent refund, just in time for the festive season," said Queensland Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon, announcing the news.

"When we launched Containers for Change five years ago, only 18 per cent of beverage containers were being recovered and recycled in Queensland. "Since then that number has grown threefold, with Queenslanders having returned more than six billion containers and receiving $630 million in return. Stacked end to end, the recovered containers would run the length of Queensland about 300 times."

Until the change kicks in, Queenslanders will need to keep popping their glass wine and spirits bottles in their yellow bins at home — and not getting any money in return — as CRS collection points won't accept them until November hits.

Glass wine and spirits bottles will be added to the Containers for Change program from Wednesday, November 1, 2023. For more information about Containers for Change, visit the scheme's website — or check out our how-to guide to the scheme as it currently exists.

Published on April 21, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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