Qld’s Containers for Change Scheme hits new heights with record returns

Image credit: Containers for Change QLD

Queensland’s pioneering Containers for Change Scheme reached a milestone in January, setting a new monthly record with 175,805,461 containers returned for refund and recycling.

This achievement underscores the scheme’s resounding success in promoting sustainability and community engagement, the government said in a media statement.

The January figures surpassed the previous record, set in January 2023, of 157,525,681 containers, showcasing the sustained growth and popularity of the initiative among Queenslanders.

A significant factor contributing to this record-breaking result was a notable 13.5 per cent increase in the number of glass containers returned.

This surge follows the Queensland Government’s proactive decision to expand the container refund scheme in November 2023, making it inclusive of glass wine and spirit bottles.

Since the expansion, an average of approximately 1.235 million glass containers have been returned daily, highlighting the substantial impact of this policy change.

Environment Minister Leanne Linard praised Queenslanders for their remarkable efforts in achieving record-breaking returns through the Containers for Change scheme.

Linard expressed her admiration, stating, “Queenslanders deserve a hearty pat-on-the-back for this fantastic effort.”

She noted the significant achievement of surpassing the previous monthly record by more than 18.2 million containers, emphasising the scheme’s continuous growth and success.

Linard highlighted the scheme’s transformative impact, stating, “This is yet another demonstration that our Containers for Change scheme is going from strength to strength.”

Reflecting on the scheme’s evolution, the minister also underscored the government’s commitment to increasing container recycling rates, aiming to build a circular economy where materials are reused, recycled, or re-manufactured to minimise waste production.

Natalie Roach, CEO of Container Exchange, echoed Linard’s sentiments, celebrating Containers for Change’s record-breaking month in January.

Roach expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “Containers for Change has just had its biggest month ever this January.”

She emphasised the scheme’s broad impact, highlighting the return of over 7.8 billion drink containers since its launch in 2018.

Roach underscored the financial relief provided to Queenslanders through the scheme, with over $780 million returned to their pockets, including nearly $12 million to charities and community groups.

She pointed out the scheme’s role in job creation, with over 935 jobs supported across Queensland, particularly benefiting regional areas.

“Customers can download the Containers for Change app to keep track of their refunds and select their preferred container refund point from depots, 24-hour bag drops, self-serve reverse vending machine kiosks and free home collection,” Roach concluded.

Since its inception in November 2018, Containers for Change has revolutionised recycling practices in Queensland, with over 7.8 billion containers returned for refund and recycling to date.

This has resulted in more than $780 million returned to Queenslanders’ pockets, providing much-needed financial relief to individuals and families.

Moreover, the scheme has also contributed over $12 million to various charities and community groups, further amplifying its positive impact on society.