NSW Container Deposit Scheme goes from strength-to-strength with major new milestones

Posted by Media Release Agency on 26th February 2021

Return and Earn, the NSW Container Deposit Scheme, continues to go from strength to strength achieving a new milestone of 5 billion containers returned for recycling last month, $500 million in refunds returned to the NSW community and a staggering $18.2 million raised for charities and community groups through donations and fees from hosting return points.

The NSW scheme is a partnership between the NSW Government, scheme coordinator Exchange for Change and network operator TOMRA Cleanaway. Launched in December 2017, the NSW Government initiative has rapidly become part of everyday life in NSW with 3 out of 4 NSW adults having participated in the scheme and 88% supporting it.1

Danielle Smalley, CEO of Exchange for Change says these latest achievements reflect not just the high levels of community support for the scheme but also the strong environmental outcomes it has delivered.

“The environmental benefits are impressive with two out of three eligible containers supplied in NSW being returned through the scheme resulting in over 460,000 tonnes of waste avoiding the litter stream and landfill to be turned into a clean, valuable commodity,” she said.

“These results demonstrate that what we do as individuals is really important and can make a difference. Equally important to this success has been the contribution of the beverage industry, who fund the scheme in an inspiring example of extended-producer responsibility in action. These achievements would not have been possible without their involvement,” she added.

James Dorney, CEO of TOMRA Cleanaway which manages the network of 620+ return points across the state, says alongside the environmental benefits of reducing litter and increasing recycling, Return and Earn continues to deliver strong economic benefits.

“Not only is the scheme putting money in the pockets of the people of NSW, thousands of community groups, charities and schools are also sharing in the benefits with over $18.2 million returned via donations and fees from hosting return points,” he said.

“We’re also very proud of the fact the scheme directly employs over 700 people across the state and provides opportunities for social enterprises such as Vinnies, Hoxton Industries and Citizen Blue to also raise funds as return point operators in our customer-focused and convenient network.”

As part of scheme partners’ ongoing commitment to transparency of scheme performance, the latest key performance metrics can be viewed on the Exchange for Change homepage including the latest NSW supply and redemption volumes.

More information on Return and Earn is available at www.returnandearn.org.au.