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This Is What Victoria's Long-Awaited Container Deposit Scheme Will Look Like

You'll be able to trade in bottles, cans and cartons for ten cents a pop — but the program won't launch until 2023.
By Libby Curran and Sarah Ward
April 15, 2021
By Libby Curran and Sarah Ward
April 15, 2021

There has been plenty of talk about how Victoria is going to score its own container deposit scheme — finally — since vague plans for the program were first announced back in February 2020. And, while the scheme isn't set to kick off officially until 2023, a few more details have been revealed, with the Victorian Government confirming exactly how it will work.

Off the back of extensive public consultations, as well as research into lots of interstate and overseas models, it has been decided that the system will run fairly similarly to what was suggested by the government last November. People will be able to exchange their empty bottles, cans and cartons for ten cents a pop, with the scheme accepting containers between 150 millilitres and three litres in volume (that is, those that tend to become litter rather than bigger and smaller sizes that are typically consumed at home).

You'll be able to drop those containers off at a variety of different collection points, including automated reverse vending machines in public places, drive-thru depots, over the counter in shops, at bag-drop points, and at pop-up collection points at events and festivals. The return points will be run by recyclers, small businesses, and charity, community and sports groups — the latter of which will be able to use the scheme for extra fundraising.

Again, don't expect the above to come to fruition until 2023, after operator contracts have been awarded and the legislation is developed and approved. The move has already been a long time coming, with Victoria the only Aussie state that hadn't already committed to one — Queensland's Containers for Change program launched in late 2018, while South Australia led the charge by introducing its version way back in 1977.

The container deposit scheme is just one of the Victorian Government's grand plans to overhaul the state's waste and recycling system, with a $300 million suite of initiatives to be rolled out across the next few years. One of the key initiatives will see homes switch from three to four different colour-coded bins, in an effort to better sort waste. A purple lid bin would be used for glass recycling; a green lid for food and garden organics; a yellow lid to recycle plastic, metal and paper; and a red lid for all other household waste. But, it's predicted the bins won't be rolled out to most households until 2030.

 Victoria's container deposit scheme is set to come into effect sometime in 2023. For more information about, visit the Victorian Government website.

Published on April 15, 2021 by Libby Curran
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