Qld celebrates success of refund scheme with 8 billion bottles returned

The Queensland government is celebrating the success of its bottle refund scheme, saying 8 billion containers have been returned since it was launched almost six years ago.

Natalie Roach: ‘remarkable success’

The seven billionth container was returned last September and 175,805,461 containers were returned in January alone, according to figures cited by the government, which says there’s also been a sharp increase in glass bottles returned following the scheme’s expansion last year.

The Containers for Change scheme was launched in November 2018 and provides 10-cent refunds for eligible drink containers. In a first for Australia, the scheme was expanded late last year to include glass wine and spirit bottles.

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

Container Exchange CEO Natalie Roach hailed the ‘truly remarkable’ success of the scheme.

“With Containers for Change now including glass wine and spirit bottles, more and more Queenslanders are taking part.

“In fact, this past summer we have seen record container volumes returned, further underscoring the positive impact of Containers for Change,” she said.

The eight billion containers equated to 400,000 tonnes of waste that’s been saved from landfill, environment minister Leanne Linard says.

“This is a phenomenal amount of waste that has been diverted from landfill and instead recycled and reused,” she said in a statement.

The state government wants to see the scheme continue to grow, Ms Linard said.

“That’s why I am continuing to work with the board and CEO of Container Exchange on new ideas to further increase the rate of container recycling.”

The scheme has also seen $800 million returned to the pockets of participating Queenslanders, she said.

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