Vic Container Deposit Scheme launches

Vic container deposit scheme

The long-awaited Victorian Container Deposit Scheme, CDS Vic, launches today.

Minister for Environment Steve Dimopoulos opened the scheme, where people can now return their eligible drink cans, bottles and cartons for a 10-cent refund at refund points across Victoria.

The scheme will generate more than 600 jobs statewide and turn used drink containers into new, recycled products.

Reverse vending machines, depots, over-the-counter sites, and pop-up refund points will be the four ways people can return their eligible containers – and depending on the type of refund point, people can choose whether they want to receive the refund in the form of cash, a retail voucher, or an electronic refund.

Victorians can also choose to donate their refund to a charity or community organisation registered with the scheme.

The network of refund points to recycle containers will continue to grow in 2024 – making the scheme even more accessible to Victorians.

VicReturn is the Scheme Co-ordinator, while Zone Operators Return-It, TOMRA Cleanaway, and Visy will establish and oversee the refund points and refunds to customers, as well as ensuring proper recycling of the containers.

The operators are each responsible for the refund point network in their allocated scheme zones: north, east and west.

Within nine months of the scheme starting, the Zone Operators will be required to have a minimum of one collection point per 14,500 people in metropolitan areas, at least one per town of 750 people in regional areas, and at least one per town of 350 people in remote areas.

CDS Vic is part of the Labor Government’s $515 million investment to transform the state’s waste and recycling system. This includes the new standardised four-stream waste and recycling system, supporting our target of diverting 80 per cent of all material away from landfill by 2030.

Retailers, associations and community groups have welcomed the rollout of the scheme with retail giant Coles today rolling out 47 Reverse Vending Machines across its Victorian stores.

Coles General Manager Grocery Leanne White says the CDS is an excellent way for customers to be rewarded for recycling and allows used cans, bottles and other eligible containers to be recycled into new products.

“We’re proud to be adding Reverse Vending Machines to 47 stores across the state in the coming months, from Bendigo to Blackburn, Berwick and Braybrook, we want to help make recycling as easy as possible for our customers,” White said.

“Now Victorian customers can be rewarded for returning their used cans, bottles and cartons, with the option to put the funds towards their next shop at Coles, redeem for cash, give to a charity, or add it straight into their bank account.”

Victoria’s Environment Minister Steve Dimopoulos said he was confident that by having refund points in such convenient locations the state will be able to significantly reduce litter and give Victorians the option of putting cash back in their pockets.

TOMRA Cleanaway Chief Executive Officr James Dorney said he was proud to partner with Coles to set up refund points at several stores across the state.

“Our machines can hold up to 10,000 cartons, cans or bottles, use state-of the art sorting technology and are very quick and easy to use,” Dorney said. “Our aim is that using Reverse Vending Machines becomes part of everyday life. Every time you go and do your shopping you return your drink containers.”

At the completion of Coles’ Victorian rollout, the retailer will have a total of 139 container collection points at or near its stores across the country, with Tasmania the remaining state to introduce a container deposit scheme.

Last financial year, more than 200 million drink containers, cans, cartons and bottles were returned to Coles-linked sites. Since the retailer started supporting the various state-based schemes in 2018, more than a billion containers have been returned to Coles-linked sites.

The introduction of CDS in Victoria was described as the missing piece on the mainland by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR).

WMRR is fully supportive of extended producer responsibility schemes like CDS as it rightly places the onus on the producer of the material to design for reuse and recycling, as well as placing incentives on them to manage the products’ lifecycle,” said WMRR Chief Executive Officer Gayle Sloan.

“It has been another sprint to the start line for the three network operators that will deliver this important scheme in Victoria.  WMRR recognises it is a phenomenal financial, legislative and logistical effort to design and implement such a change to how we manage and value materials in a scheme such as CDS. We congratulate all involved in launching this important initiative.,”

For more information, visit the Coles Container Deposit Scheme website here.

For refund location points, visit: cdsvic.org.au

Related stories:

Wine and spirit bottles accepted at QLD CDS tomorrow

NSW CDS closes in on 10 billion returns

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