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Queensland Container Refund Scheme

Quick Facts

  • Queensland Container Refund Scheme commenced on 1 November 2018
  • Local MAMS depot is the drop off point for Hinchinbrook residents
    MAMS Depot, 21 Challands Street Ingham.
    Operating hours for the container refund scheme at the MAMS Depot are below:
    Monday to Friday 8am – 4pm.

  • All containers that are smaller than 150mL and bigger than 3L are not eligible for a refund.

  • In the first twelve months of the scheme, the MAMS Ingham Depot has received 4.4 million containers.
  • Across Queensland more than one billion containers were returned to refund points in the first year, that's roughly 3.4 million containers returned each day.
  • As of the 1 November 2019, $100 million has been returned to Queenslanders and community groups through the scheme, resulting in 700 new jobs being created across Queensland.
  • Since commencement there has been a 35% reduction in roadside litter recorder.

About the container refund scheme

Queenslanders use close to 3 billion beverage containers every year.

These containers are the second most littered item in the state, despite the fact they can be easily recycled. Beverage container litter is largely associated with drink consumption in open air settings such as parks, beaches, shopping centres and car parks.

The introduction of a state-wide container refund scheme will give people an incentive to collect and return containers for recycling, in exchange for a 10 cent refund payment. This will help to:

  • reduce the amount of drink containers that are littered and,
  • increase Queensland’s recycling rate.

The scheme will also provide benefits to social enterprises, communities, and regional and remote areas by creating new job, recycling and fundraising opportunities.

Queensland’s container refund scheme commenced on 1 November 2018, with more than 330 container refund points in operation across the state. 

Introducing the container refund scheme

Queensland’s container refund scheme is known as Containers for Change.

The Scheme is a product stewardship arrangement with the costs of operating the scheme and recovering the containers for recycling, paid for by drink manufacturers. This means that drink manufacturers will take responsibility for ensuring that the environmental impacts from the empty drink containers are reduced.

The Queensland Government has appointed the industry-based, not-for-profit group Container Exchange (CoEx) as the Product Responsibility Organisation (PRO), to develop and run the container refund scheme in Queensland.

The PRO is responsible for ensuring that an effective and efficient scheme operates in Queensland, and that there is convenient and state-wide access to container refund points.

CoEx has been appointed as the Product Responsibility Organisation (PRO) because it has the structure and experience required to undertake this product stewardship scheme.

How will the Container Refund Scheme work?

Queenslanders will be able to return eligible containers via a container refund point. Container refund points will be established across Queensland to collect eligible empty containers in exchange for the payment of a refund.

For Queenslanders who prefer to donate their drink container to a community group, sports club or another organisation, container return points can direct the 10c refund payment to a registered group. In addition, some groups will run their own container donation points at which the refund payment will be retained by them.

To learn more about Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme, please visit the Containers for Change website at containersforchange.com.au.

Which drink containers are included

As part of the scheme, you can receive a refund for most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard beverage containers between 150mL and 3L.

After a period of transition, all eligible drink containers will have to display a refund marking that will make it easy to see which containers can be returned for a refund.

The below pictures show some of the types of drink containers which are included in the scheme.

Which drink containers are excluded?

A number of drink containers are not eligible for a refund under the scheme. These include:

  • plain milk containers;
  • glass containers which have contained wine or pure spirits;
  • large containers (1L or more) which have contained flavoured milk, pure juice, cask wine or cask water;
  • cordial or vegetable juice containers;
  • sachets above 250mL which have contained wine; and
  • registered health tonics.

All containers that are smaller than 150mL and bigger than 3L are not eligible for a refund.

The below pictures show some of the types of drink containers which are excluded from the scheme.