5 Bil5 Billion Containers Returned

“This outstanding milestone could not have been achieved without our valued return point partners. Across NSW there are over 620 locations at which our community can access their 10c refunds. It is through our network we aim to make participation in Return and Earn as easy, accessible and rewarding as possible for all our customers.” 

James Dorney

CEO, TOMRA Cleanaway

Shifting attitudes to recycling sees 5 billion drink containers returned in NSW

On Monday 1 February 2021 the NSW Container Deposit Scheme, Return and Earn celebrated the 5 billionth container deposited through the network of return points delivered by TOMRA Cleanaway. This success highlights the extent to which the state’s container deposit scheme has changed attitudes to litter, waste and recycling across NSW in the past three years.

With two out of three eligible containers now returned through the state’s container deposit scheme, over 460,000 tonnes of material has being sent to recyclers to be turned into a clean, valuable commodity. $500m has been returned to the NSW community through the 10 cent deposit and $18.2 million has been raised for community groups and charities via donations and fees from hosting return points.  The milestone represents 5 billion opportunities for drink containers to be turned into valuable materials for recycling into new products.

This phenomenal performance is underpinned by the support and engagement of the NSW community, with three out of four NSW adults having used the scheme. People use the scheme because they believe in it – consumer research (Kantar Public, December 2020) shows that 77% of NSW adults trust Return and Earn is a long-term solution, 82% of people agree that it reduces the amount of litter in NSW and 83% say it benefits the environment.

James Dorney, TOMRA Cleanaway CEO, says, “This outstanding milestone could not have been achieved without our valued return point partners. Across NSW there are over 620 locations at which our community can access their 10c refunds. It is through our network we aim to make participation in Return and Earn as easy, accessible and rewarding as possible for all our customers.”

TOMRA Cleanaway’s partner organizations, delivering the scheme in NSW are scheme coordinator, Exchange for Change and NSW government represented by the NSW EPA. Each organization is absolutely thrilled with the achievement of this incredible milestone.

“Recycling is vital to creating a sustainable future and supporting a circular economy,” says Danielle Smalley, CEO of Exchange for Change, the scheme coordinator. “By delivering a reliable, transparent scheme, with a strong focus on customer service, we quickly earned the confidence and trust of NSW and this is translating into action as participation in the scheme continues to grow,” says Ms Smalley.

The scheme has become especially important to many charities and community groups across NSW, for whom Return and Earn is a source of fundraising and revenue. Organisations like Vinnies are able to raise revenue by operating return points, while community groups and charities like Gerringong Lions Club have featured on Reverse Vending Machines, allowing users to donate their 10 cent refunds when they return their drink containers. The scheme offers a number of ways to raise funds, detailed here.

Read more about how TOMRA Cleanaway is delivering a robust technology-based scheme in NSW here.

For more information on how we are delivering the NSW container deposit scheme network, please contact us.

This article has also been published here.

Download the Return and Earn’s media release: NSW Container Deposit Scheme goes from strength to strength with major new milestones.