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Container Deposit Scheme in a snapshot

What is a Container Deposit Scheme?

Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) refers to the collection of drink containers and receiving a cash refund for each container returned. Depending on the deposit system, containers can be returned to the manufacturers via the retailer, to designated collection depots, reverse vending machines or recovered as part of existing waste or recycling collection system. 

Check out this video to find out more, and share it with friends and family.

What are the benefits?

Returning beverage containers for a $value refund reduces rubbish going to landfill or ending up in the environment, increases recycling rates, avoids using virgin material for new products, lowers greenhouse gas emissions, reduces water usage, creates jobs and generates cash in our hip pockets.

Where is it in place?

A CDS is currently in place in South Australia and since  2012 also in NT.

So is South Australia leading in recycling rates? South Australia enjoys a recycling rate of cans and bottles of between 75-85% while the rate in other states is less than half of this. The benefits are there for all to see; a national scheme would see a significant increase in recycling and recovery of beverage containers in all of Australia.

What are the current developments in Australia?

The Federal Government is moving slowly, so States and Territories are taking it into their own hands. After NT decided to introduce a CDS in 2012, New South Wales and Queensland commenced their negotiations with NSW announcing their scheme will be operational from December 2017, with QLD approving legislation for their scheme to commence in July 2018 and and Western Australia pledging to also commence within that timeframe.

Victorians and the people in Tasmania are strongly supporting Cash for Containers in their State too.

Why is Clean Up supporting a CDS?

Clean Up Australia supports the introduction of Container Deposit Scheme on the grounds that it will assist in reducing litter and keeping it out of our environment.

South Australia has proven over the last 30 years that a Container Deposit Scheme is working. If developed in complement with the kerbside recycling system there will be a big change to what turns up year after year in our waterways, parks and roadsides. A deposit system is also a great way to make money. A 10-cent refund is supported by over 80% of the community (Clean Up Australia poll 2008) and is the most effective way to address beverage waste created away from home.

Advocates for CDS embrace it as a means to not only reduce litter but as part of a broader approach to waste minimisation, resource conservation and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

What can you do?

Be informed: Do you want to know what the benefits and impacts of a CDS on Australian households and families are? Read the "What's in for me?" paper.

Support us: Together with the Boomerang Alliance we have developed tools for the community to support our request for a Container Deposit Scheme. See what you can do to get active.