Containers for Change program a positive impact in WA

Containers for Change

The Containers for Change program is becoming increasingly popular in Western Australia with reasonable costs being spent at the checkout, according to independent economic regulator, the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA). 

The Economic Regulation Authority has released a draft report into the impact on drink prices, which found that prices have increased by less than it cost suppliers to participate in the Containers for Change scheme. 

“The ERA’s report confirms beverage companies are doing the right thing and have not unreasonably raised drink prices because of the container deposit scheme,” Environment minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said. 

“This is welcome news and I thank the industry for their participation in Containers for Change.” 

Containers for Change officially launched on 1 October 2020. For the first six months, the ERA estimates that resulting retail price increases were as follows: 

  • 10.5 cents per container for non-alcoholic beverages in metropolitan markets 
  • 7.6 cents per container for alcoholic beverages in metropolitan markets 
  • The ERA stated that regional prices increased by a similar amount, taking into account fluctuations due to a smaller data set. 

Reinforcing the success of the scheme, the report also shows that Western Australia’s return rate in the March 2021 quarter was bigger than that achieved by NSW during its scheme’s first year of operation. 

“The report also once again shows just how well the Western Australian community has embraced the scheme, with a return rate in the March 2021 quarter that was bigger than that achieved by NSW during their scheme’s first year of operation,” Sanderson said. 

“This is an achievement to be celebrated and one West Australians can be proud of.” 

The Economic Regulation Authority will continue monitoring prices for the remainder of the Containers for Change program’s first year and will then make a recommendation to government about whether monitoring needs to continue. 


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