Queensland’s containers for change scheme hits seven billion milestone

Published Sunday, 10 September, 2023 at 11:30 AM

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Leanne Linard

  • Queensland’s popular container refund scheme has received it’s seven billionth drink container
  • More than $700 million has been returned to the pockets of Queenslanders since the scheme began in 2018, including almost $11 million which has been paid to charities and community groups
  • The scheme will be expanded from 1 November to include glass wine and pure spirit bottles

Queensland’s hugely popular container refund scheme has reached another significant milestone, seeing seven billion containers returned through the network of container refund points in less than five years of operation. 

Since launching in November 2018, the Containers for Change scheme, which provides 10-cent refunds for eligible drink containers, has continued to grow from strength to strength after already celebrating its sixth billion container milestone in February this year.

This year alone, a record 1.13 billion containers have been returned to container refund points across the state, with every month in 2023 breaking respective monthly records since the scheme began.

Queenslanders and charities continue to benefit from the scheme with more than $700 million returned to the pockets of Queenslanders, including almost $11 million being paid to charities and community groups.

The seven billion container milestone comes ahead of a planned expansion of the Containers for Change refund scheme. From 1 November, the ability to get a refund will be extended to include glass wine and pure spirit bottles.

The addition of glass wine and spirit bottles will build on the existing benefits of the program and will help to significantly increase the recovery of glass for remanufacturing into new glass bottles and other applications such as home insulation.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Leanne Linard:

“Queenslanders right across the state have gotten behind our container recycling initiatives, and I know many avid recyclers are excited about the expansion coming on 1 November.

“Since the scheme began, more than seven billion containers have been saved from ending up as landfill, which is proof of the scheme’s incredible success.

“Before the launch of Containers for Change in 2018, only 18% of drink containers were being recovered and recycled in Queensland.

“That recovery rate has now increased to around 64% and from 1 November 2023 we will be the first state in Australia to accept glass wine and pure spirit bottles for a refund.

“Every single container that is saved from ending up as litter or landfill is a win, especially for our iconic Queensland environment.

“The program not only helping to protect the environment and putting much-needed cash back into the pockets of Queenslanders, it is also having a massive impact on our local economy – the Containers for Change scheme has created more than 800 new jobs, many in regional communities.”

Quotes attributable to Natalie Roach, chief executive officer of Container Exchange:

“These amazing results show that Queenslanders are continuing to make change through container recycling.

“We’ve had one of our biggest years to date and this is due to the enthusiasm and commitment our customers have for participating in the scheme.

“With our scheme expanding to include glass wine and pure spirit bottles on November 1, we’re looking forward to welcoming even more customers to our refund points across Queensland.

“Our network is also continuing to grow. In April we opened our first refund point in the Torres Strait on Badu Island, in June we launched the Palm Island refund point and the most recent addition to our network was a drive-through depot in Lawnton which has seen more than 517,000 drink containers returned since opening on July 12.”

Further information:

More information about Containers for Change can be found at: www.containersforchange.com.au/qld


Media contact: Scott Chandler – (07) 3719 7339