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Container deposit scheme becomes a reality

20 October 2016
NSW's container deposit scheme will begin on 1 July 2017.
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Community groups and keen recyclers will be able to swap their cans and bottles for cash from 1 July 2017, as the landmark 10-cent container deposit scheme (CDS) passes through parliament.

The Waste and Resource Recovery Amendment (Container Deposit Scheme) Act 2016 paves the way for a cost-effective, best-practice scheme that will benefit both the community and the environment, while helping to meet the Premier's Priority target of reducing litter by 40 per cent by 2020.

NSW Minister for Environment Mark Speakman said the community had been asking for a container deposit scheme for decades.

“The 2015-2016 National Litter Index found that 49 per cent of litter by volume was made up of beverage containers – and 43 per cent of the total volume was containers that will be caught by the NSW CDS."

“This is a clear sign that there is likely to be a direct environmental benefit to our parks, waterways and beaches when the CDS comes in. Giving people a financial incentive to do the right thing will benefit everyone.”

Under the container deposit scheme:

  • people in NSW will be able to return empty prescribed beverage containers between 150 ml and three litres to collection points for a 10-cent refund.
  • A single Scheme Coordinator will be responsible for the financial management of the scheme and for ensuring the scheme meets state-wide targets.
  • Beverage suppliers will be responsible for covering the costs of refunds through agreements with the Scheme Coordinator.
  • The Environment Minister will appoint the co-ordinator in early 2017, as well as appointing Network Operators who will be responsible for the operation of the scheme.

Find out more about the container deposit scheme on the Environment Protection Authority website.

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