Cash for cans a reality in NSW


Premier Mike Baird will introduce a drinks container deposit scheme (CDS) into NSW early this year in a bid to clean up the state’s parks, beaches and rivers.

While the packaging and beverage industries have vociferously opposed a CDS, arguing it will make drinks more expensive and be too difficult to run, local councils and Local Government NSW have long been advocates of such a scheme, believing it will boost recycling rates, reduce littering and decrease the volume of kerbside recycling collections.

With bottles and cans making up one in three pieces of litter, they are a real pain for councils and can have a significant effect on their bottom lines.

A Local Government NSW (LGNSW)- commissioned report has indicated that councils could save up to $62 million annually and cut their recycling costs by between 19 per cent and 47 per cent once the cash for cans scheme is underway.

Although the fine print is yet to be revealed, it is likely that consumers will receive a 10 cent refund for every bottle or can they return.

Reverse vending machines will be located in public places alongside community recycling centres, to collect the glass, plastic and cans that people mainly drink away from home and it is believed that schools and charities will be the main beneficiaries.

The vending machines can automatically crush up to 3000 PET bottles or cans and do not allow non-recyclable material to be deposited – something that has dogged local government recycling efforts for years.

State Environment Minister Rob Stokes has spent months in negotiations with companies including Coca-Cola who were rabid in their opposition to the proposal and tried to worm their way out of it by offering to fund extra recycling bins at beaches and parks.

Mr Stokes knocked back the beverage giant’s offer saying it presented “a significant policy risk” and would be highly unlikely to cut litter to the same extent as a CDS. The government’s target is to reduce litter by 40 per cent by 2016.

Drinks companies will be allowed to increase drink prices by the amount of the deposit and they only have to pay the deposit on containers that are deposited.


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5 thoughts on “Cash for cans a reality in NSW

  1. Congratulations to MPs Baird, Stokes and the NSW government for listening to the community and committing to this landmark legislation in NSW. Our beach cleanup group Responsible Runners have picked up tens of thousands of littered drink containers from Australia’s most iconic beaches. Our data indicate that 30,000 are littered on Bondi alone each year. Container deposits are the most efficient and cost-effective way to address this component of the litter crisis, and with less overall litter will discourage would-be litterbugs from doing their dirty deed.

  2. What a fantastic idea.

    Cans For Cancer collect aluminium cans to raise money for the Cancer Council. At the moment we only get 1.5 cents per can so 10 cents per can will be a lot more money raised for the Cancer Council.

    We collect at different events like the football, horse races and harness racing and see so many plastic bottles that go into the rubbish. Last year we collected and recycled over 111,000 cans.

    Well done Premier Mike Baird

  3. Everyone knows CDL/CDS are the BEST and only way to get our environment cleaned up. We are in the age of capitalism. Money talks. Once a container has a value on it, less people will drop them and more people will pick them up. Packaging Industry, Food and Grocery Council, Beverage companies – CCA, Schwepps and K.A.B (that’s right, the tainted/corrupt Keep Australia Beautiful) et al are constantly scaremongering with their false “its a tax” nonsense. Shame on them. This whole Grocery Bills up by $300 a year is the biggest load of propaganda I’ve ever heard. Kerbside recycling won’t be affected (another lie) – People still by things in plastic/glass/cardboard from grocery stores that can’t be turned in for a refund – Shampoo bottles etc… The main problem is when people are away from home and buy a drink… what to do with the empty? Litter? Throw in a non-recycle bin? Once 10c is on these things, you wont hardly see any litter. It’s a no brainer! It’s what most people want. We can’t bow to corporate pressure!!!! Good on NSW for being bold and showing leadership! Shame on new VIC govt for saying that current recycling programs are good enough. Let’s hope new QLD govt will follow through on their new environmental policies – which includes a CDS!!!

  4. What great news. I am just trying to put pressure locally in Warragul, Victoria, for a scheme in Victoria. Didn’t know about NSW, good job. I will keep up the pressure, am sick of picking up other peoples’ rubbish voluntarily. Anything to get less thrown out a window etc.

  5. I would like to know if we can (legally) collect cans and bottles from shopping centres… if we can’t collect they should at least have a recycling program in place…

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