News, Packaging, Sustainability

Queensland reaches milestone in Containers for Change scheme

Eight billion containers have now been returned through the Queensland State Government’s Containers for Change scheme.

Environment Minister Leanne Linard and Container Exchange CEO Natalie Roach celebrated the latest milestone at the Community Co Recycling Depot in Windsor on Brisbane’s northside.

The Containers for Change scheme was launched in November 2018 and provides 10-cent refunds for eligible drink containers.

“This is a phenomenal amount of waste that has been diverted from landfill and instead recycled and reused thanks to our Containers for Change scheme. This is great news for our unique natural environment,” said Linard.

The government state the scheme has continued to grow from strength to strength.

“It is really exciting to see how our container refund scheme continues to grow and I congratulate Queenslanders for their ongoing efforts to return containers and receive a refund,” said Linard.

It has taken just six months to reach this latest milestone, after the seven billionth container was returned in September 2023.

A record 175,805,461 containers were returned in January alone, surpassing the previous record of 157.5 million achieved in January 2023.

In an Australian-first, the Queensland scheme was expanded in November 2023 to allow glass wine and spirit bottles to the returned.

Natalie Roach, chief executive officer of Container Exchange said, “With Containers for Change now including glass wine and spirit bottles, more and more Queenslanders are taking part.”

Since then, the scheme has recorded a 13.5 per cent increase in the quantity of glass bottles being returned.

“Customers can simply download the Containers for Change app to keep track of their refunds and select their preferred container refund point from depots, 24-hour bag drops, self-serve reverse vending machine kiosks and free home collection,” said Roach.

Queenslanders who have returned eligible containers have shared in $800 million in refunds. This includes around $12 million paid to charities and community groups.

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