Container deposit scheme coming to Victoria

by Sophie Berrill
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container deposit scheme

A new drink container recycling program will begin on 1 November 2023 in Victoria, bringing the state up to speed with the likes of South Australia and New South Wales

Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme, or CDS Vic, will be “Australia’s most convenient and accessible beverage container recycling scheme”, according to the Victorian Minister for Environment Ingrid Stitt. The long-awaited scheme will allow Victorians to return their used drink cans, bottles and cartons for a 10-cent refund.

Stitt announced the start date for CDS Vic on Friday and named the organisations that will be responsible for delivering it. VicReturn will be the scheme coordinator while Visy, TOMRA Cleanaway and Return-It will be network operators, responsible for establishing and maintaining a network of more than 600 refund collection points across the state.

The Government says the new scheme will reduce Victoria’s litter by up to half, create new economic opportunities, generate 645 jobs and turn drink containers into new recycled products. Households, local clubs, groups and organisations can also share in the cash benefits of recycling their used cans, bottles and cartons.

“This is a great opportunity for Victorians to help clean up our environment, while helping sporting clubs and community groups to raise valuable funds through collection drive events and donations,” says Member for Albert Park Nina Taylor.

Containers eligible for refund

CDS Vic will target beverage containers that most commonly contribute to litter and are often consumed away from home. These include:

  • plastic soft drink bottles,
  • non-concentrated fruit or vegetable juice,
  • flavoured milk,
  • glass beer bottles, and
  • soft drinks and alcohol sold in cans.

Exempt containers

Some containers won’t be eligible for refund, including:

  • glass wine bottles,
  • glass spirit bottles,
  • juice bottles over one litre,
  • cordial bottles,
  • milk (other than flavoured milk),
  • concentrated fruit or vegetable juice, and
  • health tonics.

Within 12 months of the scheme starting, the network 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.

For more information about the scheme, including a complete list of eligible containers, head to the Victorian Government website.

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