NSW CDS closes in on 10 billion returns

NSW CDS

The New South Wales Government has put out a call to action for households to help the state’s container refund scheme reach the 10 billion mark in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Users of NSW Return and Earn have earned $1 billion in container refunds since the scheme began in 2017 and have raised $47 million for charities and local community groups.

More than 923,000 tonnes of materials have been recycled through the scheme. Reusing these materials instead of new products, has saved enough energy to power 110,000 homes for a year and enough water to fill 23,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Environment Minister Penny Sharpe said 10 billion items returned in New South Wales is a significant milestone that demonstrates Return and Earn is a circular economy success story.

“Drink container litter in New South Wales has more than halved,” Sharpe said. “’We need to continue reducing waste and emissions, and increase recycling, and programs like Return and Earn make it possible.

“We are already thinking to the next billion and want to encourage every household to get on the Return and Earn bandwagon.”

Two out of every three eligible drink container supplied in New South Wales are now redeemed, increasing recycling rates and reducing the beverage industry’s reliance on virgin plastic, glass and aluminium.

The Return and Earn network continues to grow, with more than 620 return points operational across the state.

Thirteen-year-old elite gymnast Joshua Teelow has raised more than $10,000 by recycling drink containers through Return and Earn and has used the money to cover the cost of travelling to training and competition.

Joshua gained a position at the Gymnastics NSW High Performance Centre in Sydney five years ago. The centre is 2.5 hours away from his home.

His mother Jade Teelow said Joshua has competed at state and national level and is part of the Junior International Squad. He hopes to eventually represent Australia.

But the costs were adding up, so Josh began recycling bottles and cans with Return and Earn in 2020 to raise extra money.

“His record in one trip to a Return and Earn point was just over $1300 and he now averages $800 every six to eight weeks,” Teelow said.

“Return and Earn has given Josh life skills including communication, time management, budgeting and banking, and responsibility.”

Return and Earn is delivered in partnership between the New South Wales Government, scheme co-ordinator Exchange for Change and network operator TOMRA Cleanaway, and is funded by the beverage industry.

For more information, visit: www.nsw.gov.au

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