The South Australian Government has reflected on its achievements as it celebrates 40 years since the start of its container deposit scheme (CDS).
The government noted the overall return rate has reached 80 per cent, as it reported on its successes in mid-November.
Since 2005 when statistics were first collected, more than six billion containers have been returned under the scheme. This equates to about 583 million containers per year that are recovered, recycled and directed away from landfill.
The container deposit scheme started in South Australia in 1977 to reduce the litter problem created by single use drink containers.
In 2003, the South Australian Government extended the scheme to cover non-carbonated soft drinks, fruit juice and flavoured milk containers.
In 2008, the State Government increased the refund from 5 cents to 10 cents, which led to more participation.
Beverage containers now make up only 2.9 per cent of litter items in South Australia.
Each year South Australians, including sporting clubs, charities and the South Australian Scouts Association benefit from the scheme. Almost $60 million was returned to the community in 2016-17.
The container deposit scheme was declared a Heritage Icon in 2006 by the National Trust of South Australia in recognition of its role in contributing to the state’s cultural identity.
“For more than 35 years, South Australia was the only state or territory in the nation with a container deposit scheme,” said Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter.