NSW Environment Minister James Griffin

‘Working with our partners, we look forward to building upon the initial successes of the Scheme and the positive environmental, employment, charity and community outcomes delivered to date as part of the circular economy in NSW’.

To A New Era For TOMRA Cleanaway Delivering NSW’s Return and Earn

TOMRA Cleanaway celebrated news today that the business has secured an extension agreement with the NSW Government to continue the delivery of network operation for the state’s successful Return and Earn Container Deposit Scheme.

NSW Environment Minister James Griffin, congratulated TOMRA Cleanaway on the extension of the Network Operator Agreement, noting TOMRA Cleanaway’s involvement since the launch of the scheme has been integral to the outstanding results achieved through Return and Earn.

“Return and Earn started out as a litter prevention program, and it has succeeded in that, achieving a 52% reduction in the volume of drink container litter and recycling more than 672,000 tonnes in materials,” Mr Griffin said.

“And now, five years on, Return and Earn has transformed into one of the most successful and trusted recycling initiatives Australia has seen.

“Return and Earn is the circular economy in action. It’s helping us clean up our environment, turning trash into treasure, and fundamentally shifting the way people think about used drink containers.”

Integral to the success of the scheme, is TOMRA Cleanaway’s network of return points that place convenience and accessibility for consumers as paramount.

In February 2022 the scheme reached a huge milestone with more than 7 billion drink containers returned by NSW residents through the return point network delivered by TOMRA Cleanaway.

The popularity of Return and Earn isn’t surprising and it’s exciting that more opportunities are being considered to give more communities access to collections points in all parts NSW. More than 78 per cent of adults have used Return and Earn, and two-thirds do so once a month or more.

Businesses, charity and not-for-profit partners continue to benefit

TOMRA Cleanaway’s reappointment as Network Operator represents a decision that the business is a safe pair of hands to continue delivery of such a successful scheme. Having partnerships across NSW with a variety of businesses, charities and not for profit organisations to host return points has aided create a paradigm shift in the way community views waste. The continuation of the TOMRA Cleanaway in their role is not only good news for the environment but for communities. To date more than $30 million has been raised for charities and community groups via donations and fees since the scheme commenced.

The St Vincent de Paul Society of NSW is one of the many charities and not for profit organisations that has benefitted from partnership with TOMRA Cleanaway.

Jack de Groot, CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW said through the partnership they’ve developed a valuable new income stream to support Vinnies work in community helping people experiencing poverty.

It started out with over-the-counter collections in Vinnies Shops across Western Sydney and the Illawarra. We have evolved our operation to seven automated depots across NSW. Outstanding community support has meant we will soon have processed 300 million containers.”

The environment will continue to be a focus

CEO of TOMRA Cleanaway, James Dorney applauded the extension announcement.

“As Network Operator, TOMRA Cleanaway is delighted to have the opportunity to continue to work together with the NSW Government and the scheme coordinator, Exchange for Change, in the continued delivery of Return and Earn,” Said Mr Dorney.

“Working with our partners, we look forward to building upon the initial successes of the Scheme and the positive environmental, employment, charity and community outcomes delivered to date as part of the circular economy in NSW”.  

Return and Earn is delivered in a tripartite arrangement 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 initiative and continues to deliver ever increasing domestic circular outcomes for materials collected.

If you would like more information on TOMRA Cleanaway or would like to be considered to host a return point, please contact us.

For more information on the NSW container deposit scheme, please visit Return and Earn.

Read the NSW Environment Minister James Griffin, press release.