Glass wine, spirit bottles added to Queensland containers for change

wine bottles QLD containers for change

Glass wine and spirit bottles will be eligible for a 10-cent refund under Queensland’s Containers for Change program from November 1, 2023.

The commitment to expand the scheme follows a consultation period, where more than 6600 Queenslanders shared their thoughts about including additional containers in the refund program.

More than 98 per cent of participants were in favour of more containers being made eligible for refunds through the program.

The container refund scheme has recovered more than 6.4 billion containers since its launch in Queensland in 2018, refunding more than $630 million to Queenslanders and creating 815 jobs as a result.

The addition of glass wine and spirit bottles is expected to build on the existing benefits of the program, especially around the recovery of additional glass for remanufacturing.

To ensure all Queenslanders can participate in the expanded scheme later this year, the Queensland Government is working closely with Container Exchange (COEX), who manage the Containers for Change program, to make sure industry and facilities will be ready with six months to prepare.

Meaghan Scanlon, Environment Minister, said when Containers for Change was launched five years ago, only 18 per cent of beverage containers were being recovered and recycled in Queensland.

“Since then that number has grown threefold, with Queenslanders having returned more than six billion containers and receiving $630 million in return.

“Stacked end-to-end, the recovered containers would run the length of Queensland about 300 times.

“It’s a program that isn’t just helping Queenslanders cash in – it’s also making sure we divert good materials from landfill to be recycled, and supporting hundreds of good, local jobs at the same time.”

Natalie Roach, Container Exchange Chief Executive Officer, said she was thrilled at the positive response from Queenslanders about expanding the types of drink containers eligible for a refund.

So far 2023 has been a record-breaking year for the Containers for Change program with more containers collected than ever before.

Toby Hutcheon, Campaign Manager, Boomerang Alliance congratulated Queensland on being the first state to include wine and spirit bottles in the container refund scheme and called on other states to follow the Queensland example.

“Beer bottles are already part of the scheme and attract a 10-cent refund, so there is no reason why wine and spirit bottles should be excluded,” Hutcheon said.

“Mixed glass collected for recycling remains a problem, so including more glass in the scheme, where quality and value are retained, will make recycling easier and help the industry.

“Including wine and spirit bottles means more financial opportunity for collectors and more funding for community groups and Queenslanders.”

Bernardo Tobias, Queensland State Manager for OzHarvest, said the expansion of the scheme means more bottles recycled, which will enable OzHarvest to deliver more meals to Queenslanders in need.

“The rising cost of living has seen so many new people needing our help, so we are truly grateful for every dollar raised through the Containers for Change scheme,” Tobias said.

Containers for Change has also been an essential fundraiser for The Brisbane Brothers JFLFC junior football club. Michael Robinson, President, said more types of containers means more money can be raised for young players.

“Not just every dollar, but every cent counts for volunteer-run clubs like ours, and every container adds up to more training and more equipment for the kids,

“We hope to see even more Queenslanders donate their container refunds to kids sports in the future – it’s a great way to give back to your community.”

Glass wine and pure spirit bottles will not be accepted at refund points before 1 November 2023. These glass bottles can still be placed in the kerbside recycling bin.

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