Cash for Containers

Cash for Containers

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Find out more about Cash for Containers by Boomerang Alliance.

Cash for Containers
Zero Waste

Cash for Containers

In Australia around 15 billion drink bottles and cans are consumed every year and fewer than half of these are recycled. Beverage containers now outstrip cigarette butts as the most littered item (taken from the National Top 10 rubbish items collected on Clean Up Australia Day). 15,000 bottles and cans are littered or landfilled in Australia every minute.

10 cents can clean things up

A 10 cent refund on containers can put a dent in litter and skyrocket recycling levels. 

It is a fact that a ‘cash for container’ scheme will reduce litter and increase recycling rates to 80 – 95%. South Australia is leading the way with such a scheme and has double the rate of recycling than the rest of the country. 

What is a Cash for Container scheme?

A Container Deposit Scheme is a fully refundable 10 cent deposit returned to consumers when they give back their used bottles and cans for recycling. All beverage containers (including milk and wine bottles) between 0.1 and 3 litres are in scope for deposits. 

What are the benefits?

  • Rising recycling rates: Cash for Containers schemes lead to rates of recycling of 80-95%. No other recycling system around the world has proven to achieve this.
  • Decreasing litter and plastic pollution: Groups like Clean Up Australia who are dedicated to cleaning up litter, have repeatedly seen that litter rates of bottles and cans are much lower in South Australia where a successful scheme has been operating since 1977.  
  • Boosting the recycling industry: Recycling companies expect to invest millions of dollars and create thousands of jobs in Australia if Cash for Containers goes national. 

What can you do?

Like 84% of Australians, the City supports the move towards a National Container Deposit Scheme. The Boomerang Alliance is proposing a convenient container deposit system where drink containers can be returned to reverse vending machines, much like the ones we’re trialling in the city.

You can find out more about their campaign in the Links section. 

Cash for Containers

Close up plastic bottles 

Did you see our 10 cent installation?

Striking by day, and beautifully lit at night, our installation is made of Thank You bottles, where part of the cost of the bottles has gone towards building water projects in developing nations.

10 cents is now making its way around the City and to other areas throughout the year.

At the end of its life, it will be ... recycled!  


Boomerang AllianceClean Up AustraliaThank You Water

Last updated: Wednesday, 23 July 2014