Queensland's New Container Refund Scheme Has Recycled More Than 400 Million Items

Since launching on November 1, the scheme has also paid out around $40 million in refunds.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 20, 2019

It has been five months since Queensland's Containers for Change refund scheme launched, hot on the heels of the state's single-use plastic bag ban. And, like the move away from disposable shopping containers, it's already having an impact.

In the initial two months of the CRS, it received more than 102 million empty drink containers — and across its first five months, that number has now rocketed up to over 400 million.

That's 400 million water bottles, beer cans, juice containers and more that aren't sitting in landfill or headed to our waterways, all since the scheme was rolled out on November 1, 2019. As well as recycling a hefty amount of aluminium, glass, plastic and steel items, the regime has also paid out a sizeable sum to eco-conscious Queenslanders.

Money is a great motivator, obviously, with ten cents per eligible vessel refunded. So far, the scheme has paid more than $40 million to participants. The figures exceed initial expectations, with "container redemption volumes about a third higher than forecast," according to Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch.

In the first ten months of 2018, nearly three billion beverage containers were used by Queenslanders — so while returning 400 million bottles and cans since November still represents a mere fraction of the recyclable containers in use across the period, it's definitely a promising start.

More collection and refund points continue to be added to the scheme, with 270 now set up — an increase from the 230-plus available when the CRS launched.

For more information, visit the Containers for Change website — or check out our how-to guide.

Published on April 20, 2019 by Sarah Ward
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