8 billion containers collected through Return and Earn symbolises an outstanding achievement for TOMRA Cleanaway. Every day our Team is on a mission to deliver a safe, convenient and accessible container deposit scheme for the citizens of NSW. This milestone represents considerable community endorsement for what we do every day.

8 Billion Containers – delivering value to the community

Last weekend, TOMRA Cleanaway and our partners are celebrated a milestone achieved through the NSW Container Deposit Scheme, Return and Earn. 8 billion containers have now been deposited through the Return and Earn network of return points, delivered by TOMRA Cleanaway. This equates to 3,200 containers returned every minute since the scheme launched on 1 December 2017! 8 billion containers is also confirmation of the success of Return and Earn, which has delivered significant, environmental, social and economic benefits over more than four years of scheme operation.

Return and Earn is a partnership between the NSW Government, Scheme Coordinator Exchange for Change and Network Operator TOMRA Cleanaway. Launched in December 2017 it has become the state’s largest litter reduction initiative and has delivered considerable ESG benefits.

Highlighting the success of the scheme is the fact that two out of three eligible containers are returned, which has delivered over 755,000 tonnes of high-quality recyclables for use as a clean and ‘in demand’ commodity in the domestic and international recycling market. 8 billion containers also mean that $800m has been returned to the NSW community.

Community support and participation formidable

The support and engagement of NSW citizens has been unwavering throughout the operation of Return and Earn. The newest figures have shown that almost 80% of NSW adults have participated in Return and Earn, with many making use of the TOMRA Cleanaway network for Return and Earn a habitual part of their routine. At the heart of participation is the provision of a convenient and accessible network of return points by TOMRA Cleanaway, and our third-party return point partners that make it easy for citizens to obtain their 10c container refunds.

Minister for Environment James Griffin said the incredible effort from NSW communities is transforming how we recycle. “This is a huge win for our environment, with all plastic containers and glass bottles returned being given a new life and turned back into new food and drink containers to go back on our supermarket shelves within weeks,

“Heading down to the local Return and Earn point has become a routine part of life, and I’d like to thank the almost 80 per cent of adults in NSW who have got involved.”

James Dorney, TOMRA Cleanaway CEO, reflected on the significant environmental outcomes achieved through community participation in the scheme saying, “8 billion containers collected means a significant number of containers that are being used for high end recycling applications, that are delivering circular economy outcomes.”

Charity and community groups benefitting from millions of donations

The scheme has continued to provide considerable opportunities for community groups and charities to benefit from fundraising through Return and Earn. The newest reported data has confirmed that more than $35 million has been raised for charities and community groups via donations and fees since the scheme commenced in December 2017. This value does not reflect all the informal fundraising that is occurring through the scheme.

St Vincent de Paul Society of NSW is one of TOMRA Cleanaway’s valued return point operators made Return and Earn a key part of its fundraising strategy, generating millions of dollars to-date as a return point partner in NSW.

Regarding achievement of the milestone, Acting CEO, Yolanda Saiz said, “St Vincent de Paul Society NSW’s involvement with Return and Earn has been a great success. Vinnies has seven Return and Earn depots across NSW where we currently employ over 30 people and last financial year our sites processed 95 million containers.

“This helped raise critical funds for the Society that enable us to provide services to people experiencing poverty and disadvantage said Ms Saiz.

Taronga Zoo hosts one of the original Return and Earn machine placements at an iconic site for the NSW network. The local community surrounding the area have now returned more than 5 million containers through the machine, which includes a permanent opportunity to donate to the Zoo, via an on-screen donation option.

Learn more about the NSW container deposit scheme by visiting Return and Earn.

Find out about how TOMRA Cleanaway is delivering a robust technology-based network in NSW here.

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

To view Minister James Griffin’s media release, visit here.