Cheers! Glass wine, spirit bottles to be part of container refund scheme

Published Thursday, 20 April, 2023 at 10:10 AM

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon

  • Glass wine and spirit bottles will be eligible for a 10-cent refund under Queensland’s Containers for Change program from November 1, 2023
  • Close to 100 per cent of 6,600 Queenslanders consulted earlier this year supported the move to expand the scheme
  • More than 6.4 billion containers have been exchanged since the program was launched in 2018, refunding more than $630 million

In an Australian-first, the Palaszczuk Government has announced it will expand its popular Containers for Change program to include glass wine and spirit bottles from November 1, 2023.

It means Queenslanders will get 10 cents for every glass wine and spirit bottle deposited at one of over 360 container refund points found across the state.

The commitment to expand the scheme follows an extensive consultation period, where more than 6,600 Queenslanders shared their thoughts about including additional containers in the refund program.

98.1 per cent of participants were in favour of more containers being made eligible for refunds through the program.

The container refund scheme has recovered more than 6.4 billion containers since its launch in Queensland in 2018, refunding more than $630 million to Queenslanders and creating 815 jobs as a result.

The addition of glass wine and spirit bottles is expected to build on the existing benefits of the program, especially around the recovery of additional glass for remanufacturing.

To ensure all Queenslanders can participate in the expanded scheme later this year, the Palaszczuk Government is working closely with Container Exchange (COEX), who manage the Containers for Change program, to make sure industry and facilities will be ready with six months to prepare.

Quotes attributable to Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon:

“We’ve heard you Queensland. Plastic bottles, cans, poppers and very soon glass wine and spirit bottles will all give you a 10 cent refund, just in time for the festive season.

“Of course, we don’t want Queenslanders to pop the champagne too early, as we work with 360 container refund depots as well as wine makers and spirit distillers over the next six months to get ready for the change.

“When we launched Containers for Change five years ago, only 18 per cent of beverage containers were being recovered and recycled in Queensland.

“Since then that number has grown threefold, with Queenslanders having returned more than six billion containers and receiving $630 million in return.

“Stacked end to end, the recovered containers would run the length of Queensland about 300 times.

“It’s a program that isn’t just helping Queenslanders cash in – it’s also making sure we divert good materials from landfill to be recycled, and supporting hundreds of good, local jobs at the same time.”

Quotes attributable to Container Exchange CEO Natalie Roach:

“We are thrilled at the overwhelmingly positive response from Queenslanders about expanding the types of drink containers eligible for a refund through the Containers for Change scheme.

“We are excited about offering even more opportunities to create value for individuals, community groups, and charities while making it even simpler for Queenslanders to know which drink containers are eligible for a refund.

“So far 2023 has been a record-breaking year for the Containers for Change program with more containers collected than ever before, and we look forward to the expansion, and returning even more cash back to Queenslanders whilst saving even more valuable recyclable material from ending up litter or landfill.”

Quotes attributable to Toby Hutcheon, Campaign Manager, Boomerang Alliance:

“We congratulate Queensland on being the first state to include wine and spirit bottles in the container refund scheme and call on other states to follow the Queensland example.

“Beer bottles are already part of the scheme and attract a 10 cent refund, so there is no reason why wine and spirit bottles should be excluded.

“Mixed glass collected for recycling remains a problem, so including more glass in the scheme, where quality and value are retained, will make recycling easier and help the industry.

“Including wine and spirit bottles means more financial opportunity for collectors and more funding for community groups and Queenslanders.”

Quotes attributable to Bernardo Tobias, Queensland State Manager for OzHarvest:

“The expansion of the container deposit scheme means more bottles recycled, which will enable OzHarvest to deliver more nourishing meals to Queenslanders in need.

“The rising cost of living has seen so many new people needing our help, so we are truly grateful for every dollar raised through the Containers for Change scheme.

“OzHarvest has already delivered over 21,000 meals with the funds raised from over 100,000 cans and bottles recycled through Containers for Change.”

Quotes attributable to Michael Robinson, President of Brisbane Brothers JFLFC:

“Containers for Change has been an essential fundraiser for our junior football club, Brisbane Brothers JRLFC, and more types of containers means more money can be raised for young players,

“Not just every dollar, but every cent counts for volunteer-run clubs like ours, and every container adds up to more training and more equipment for the kids,

“We hope to see even more Queenslanders donate their container refunds to kids sports in the future – it’s a great way to give back to your community.”

Further information:

  • Glass wine and pure spirit bottles will not be accepted at refund points before 1 November 2023.
  • These glass bottles can still be placed in the kerbside recycling bin.
  • Learn more about Containers for Change here:


Media contact: Francis Dela Cruz – 0420 592 078