Global Container Refund & Return Schemes

Container deposit schemes are known as bottle deposit schemes, deposit refund or return systems (DRS), or bottle bills, and are generally underpinned by legislation.

Container deposit schemes operate through the addition of a small deposit on the price of a beverage. In most instances, these are beverages consumed away from the home that is considered ‘single-use.’ The deposit paid by the consumer is refunded when the empty drink container is returned. In Australia the deposit is 10c.

In December 2017, the United Nations Environment Agency encouraged all countries globally to implement container deposit schemes.

The Single-Use Plastics Directive adopted in 2019 by the Council of the European Union has set out for member states to collect 90% of all plastic bottles by 2029, with an interim goal of 77% by 2025, through initiatives such as container deposit schemes.

Container deposit schemes due for commencement in the next three years will occur in Scotland, Portugal, England, and Wales and locally in, Tasmania, and Victoria are all due to commence a container deposit scheme in Australia in the coming years.

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Global Container Refund & Return Schemes