QUEENSLAND’S new Container Refund Scheme has had an overwhelming response, with more than five million bottles and cans recycled, and half-a-million-dollars refunded in the first week.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said it was wonderful to see so many Queenslanders getting on board.
“With more than five million containers returned, this means half a million dollars has gone back to Queenslanders or charities and community groups,” Ms Enoch said.
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“We’ve also seen some great recycling happening in regional areas. More than 780,000 containers have been returned in Wide Bay, and more than 770,000 in Townsville.
As part of Containers for Change, Queenslanders are able to get 10 cents back for returning eligible bottles and cans or donate the refund to a charity or community group.
Ms Enoch said Containers for Change was about recycling and reducing litter in the environment.
“Queenslanders use nearly three billion containers a year, and sadly they are the most commonly littered item in the environment.
“This scheme creates an incentive for Queenslanders to recycle their containers and get a refund.”
Ms Enoch said the scheme was also creating job opportunities.
“This scheme has created about 500 new jobs, with people starting work at container refund points across the state,” Ms Enoch said.
Container Exchange (CoEx) is the company responsible for implementing and managing the scheme, and CEO Ken Noye said it was great to see more than 5 million containers being recycled.
“That’s a massive result which is bound to have a positive impact on our environment,” he said.
“We also now have 27,000 people signed up with a scheme ID, allowing them to be paid their refund straight into their bank account.”
Mr Noye also encouraged charities and community groups to sign-up if they would like to be a part of the scheme and receive donations.
“People are able to support local community groups by donating their containers and we encourage social purpose organisations to sign up for the scheme.
“We’d love to see communities get behind Containers for Change to raise funds for schools, sporting clubs, and other not-for-profits.”
There are over 30 separate recycling points across the Gold Coast, which include over-the-counter depots, drop-offs, reverse vending machines, donation sites, and mobile and pop-up refund points.
For more information, including a list of drop-off points, visit the Containers for Change website.