A super summer has driven a surge in Queenslanders cashing in via the state’s container refund scheme with a record milestone being reached in the first month of 2023.
Containers for Change officially celebrated the 6th billionth drink container returned through the network of more than 360 container refund points this week, following a record-breaking summer for the scheme.
Containers for Change launched in November 2018 providing 10-cent refunds for eligible drink containers. The initiative has gone from strength to strength after hitting its 5 billion container milestone in July 2022.
Many regions across the state broke their records for numbers of containers returned before Christmas, while Brisbane residents started the new year in green spirit, returning 17.4 million containers in the first week of January alone.
More than 150 million containers were refunded across the state in January 2023, with more than $15 million refunded to individuals, community groups and charities.
Queensland Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon celebrated the milestone with a visit to one of the state’s newest container refund points at Dundowran in Hervey Bay. The site employs 6 locals and has seen more than 4.5 million containers returned through the depot since opening in late 2022.
Minister Scanlon praised Hervey Bay locals for their support of Containers for Change adding that enthusiasm for container recycling is high across the state, with many avid recyclers excited about the possible expansion.
“Lots of Queenslanders are keen to refund even more containers and facilities like this beautiful site at Dundowran make it easy for residents to cash in and make change.
“Statewide our container refund point network has seen more than six billion containers saved from landfill which is proof of the initiative’s huge success.
“Containers for Change has created more than 815 jobs, and we’re grateful to all of those workers who have been worked hard through one of the busiest summers of recycling ever in the state,” she said.
“Every one of the six billion containers refunded is saved from ending up as litter or landfill, which is an absolutely enormous win, especially for our iconic Queensland environment,” she said.
Natalie Roach, the new chief executive officer of Container Exchange the not-for-profit that runs the container refund scheme, says 2023 is set to be an exciting year.
“Containers for Change has put more than $590 million back into the pockets of Queenslanders, with an additional $10 million going to charities and community groups,”
“We’ve got one of our biggest years ever ahead of us, as we open our first refund points in the Torres Strait, and continue to expand the network to allow convenient access to the scheme to all Queenslanders,”
“Over the last few months Queenslanders have been having their say about the possible expansion of the scheme to include wine and spirit bottles, and we encourage everyone to share their view on the government’s survey before February 20,” she said.
Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon