Eight billion no small change for environment

Girl holding crushed cans. | Newsreel
Eight billion containers have been returned for recycling in Queensland. | iStock

Eight billion drink containers have been returned through the Containers for Change scheme, putting $800m into Queenslanders’ pockets.

Launched in November 2018, the scheme provides 10-cent refunds for eligible drink containers.

It is growing in popularity, taking just six months to register an extra billion containers, having breached the seven billion mark last September.

A record 175,805,461 containers were returned in January this year, surpassing the previous record of 157.5 million achieved in January 2023.

In an Australian-first, the Queensland scheme was expanded in November last year to allow glass wine and spirit bottles to be returned.

Since then, the scheme has recorded a 13.5 per cent increase in the quantity of glass bottles being returned.

The $800m returned in refunds includes around $12m paid to charities and community groups.

Container Exchange CEO Natalia Roach said the success of Containers for Change had a significant impact on the environment, keeping 8 billion drink containers from ending up as litter or landfill.

“While this milestone of 8 billion containers returned is cause for celebration, we know there are so many more opportunities to make sure no container goes to waste in Queensland,” Ms Roach said.

“Getting started on a container collecting journey is easier than ever.

“Customers can simply download the Containers for Change app to keep track of their refunds and select their preferred container refund point from depots, 24-hour bag drops, self-serve reverse vending machine kiosks and free home collection.”

Visit the Containers for Change website for more information.