QUEENSLAND’S hugely popular container refund scheme has reached another significant milestone with the seventh billion container being returned as Queenslanders continue to recycle.
Since launching in November 2018, the Containers for Change scheme has continued to grow from strength to strength after already celebrating its sixth billion container milestone in February this year.
This year alone, a record 1.13 billion containers have been returned to container refund points across the state, with every month in 2023 breaking respective monthly records since the scheme began.
Queenslanders and charities continue to benefit from the scheme with more than $700 million returned to the pockets of Queenslanders, including almost $11 million being paid to charities and community groups.
Container Exchange chief executive officer Natalie Roach these amazing results show that Queenslanders are continuing to make change through container recycling.
“We’ve had one of our biggest years to date and this is due to the enthusiasm and commitment our customers have for participating in the scheme,” she said.
“With our scheme expanding to include glass wine and pure spirit bottles on 1 November, we’re looking forward to welcoming even more customers to our refund points across Queensland.
“In April we opened our first refund point in the Torres Strait on Badu Island, in June we launched the Palm Island refund point and the most recent addition to our network was a drive-through depot in Lawnton which has seen more than 517,000 drink containers returned since opening on 12 July.”
The seven billion container milestone comes ahead of a planned expansion of the Containers for Change refund scheme. From 1 November, the ability to get a refund will be extended to include glass wine and pure spirit bottles.
Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leanne Linard said many avid recyclers are excited about the expansion.
“Since the scheme began, more than seven billion containers have been saved from ending up as landfill, which is proof of the scheme’s incredible success,” she said.
“Before the launch of Containers for Change in 2018, only 18 per cent of drink containers were being recovered and recycled in Queensland.
“That recovery rate has now increased to around 64 per cent and from 1 November 2023, we will be the first state in Australia to accept glass wine and pure spirit bottles for a refund.
“Every single container that is saved from ending up as litter or landfill is a win, especially for our iconic Queensland environment.
The addition of glass wine and spirit bottles will build on the existing benefits of the program and will help to significantly increase the recovery of glass for remanufacturing into new glass bottles and other applications such as home insulation.
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