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Returns earn millions

Being able to return bottles for cash might have started as an exercise in reducing litter, but it has turned out to be also very lucrative for the community.

Since Return and Earn began in NSW in 2017, more than eight billion containers have been returned, delivering $800 million in refunds to the people of NSW, with a further $35 million in donations to community groups and charities, and helping reduce drink container litter by a massive 52%.

The scheme is similar to those in other states (such as Containers for Change in Queensland), except that almost half the collection locations have ‘reverse vending’ machines, which dispense funds when the bottles are inserted.

The NSW Government released the numbers this week as part of an announcement that it is set to expand to include glass wine and spirits bottles and larger containers. The expansion is predicted to see up to an additional 400 million eligible bottles recycled each year, including 233 million glass bottles.

Minister for Environment James Griffin says that while Return and Earn began as a litter reduction tool, it has become incredibly popular with almost 80% of adults in NSW having used the scheme, which has more than 630 return points across the State.

“The scheme expansion will boost recycling rates, reduce landfill, and supercharge our push towards a circular economy in NSW”, Griffin hopes.

Half of the New South Wales return points have reverse vending machines, which might have some impact on the popularity of the scheme. South Australia, which has had a container deposit scheme at waste management depots since 1977, is now looking at installing reverse vending machines at convenient locations such as shopping centres. Queensland and Western Australia have had some reverse vending machines, are now looking to expand the number of installations.

About Adam Nobel

CEO | Principal
M. Bus, Grad Dip Adv, B.Int Bus, LREA


0417 007 001

Adam is the founder and Principal of Hugo Alexander Property Group. With a previous career in advertising, 22 years experience in property investment, and 16 years in Brisbane real estate, he knows the market inside out to ensure his clients grow their wealth faster.

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