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What is the 'Container Refund Scheme'?

The Queensland Government is introducing a Container Refund Scheme (CRS) from 1st November 2018. Its purpose is to reduce litter entering the environment and increase recycling by paying consumers a refund amount to return eligible containers for recycling.

Under the CRS consumers who return an empty eligible drink container to an approved container refund point will receive a 10 cent refund.

The CRS is a product stewardship arrangement. This means the cost of paying refunds, operating the scheme and recovering the containers for recycling is borne by 'beverage *manufacturers' (*see definition over the page). The Queensland CRS will apply to all eligible containers sold for use or consumption in Queensland. Participation is mandated and legally binding.

South Australia, New South Wales and the Northern Territory already have similar schemes. Each State is responsible for their own legislation and regulations for their own container deposit scheme(s) and as such they may have slightly different attributes.

All Queensland beverage containers between 150mL and 3 litres in volume will be eligible for a refund with some exceptions

Containers that are not included in the scheme and, therefore, do not qualify for a refund include:

In any size containers for:

  • cordial either concentrated or undiluted
  • fruit juice either concentrated or intended to be diluted
  • registered health tonics
  • plain, unflavoured milk
  • wine sachets 250mL or more

In containers of more than one litre:

  • 11L/15L Neverfail returnable water bottles
  • 15L Neverfail One-Way Bottle
  • 10L Neverfail cask water
  • pure fruit juice
  • pure vegetable juice
  • cask wine
Eligible Container Sizes

A full list is available from:

How it works

How does it work?

  • There will be container refund points or donation points throughout Queensland communities where consumers can return containers, either for a 10 cent refund per eligible container, or may be able to donate to a charity.
  • Returned containers are counted, bundled by material type and transported for recycling.
  • There will be a robust validation and audit process to make sure containers are accounted for correctly.
  • The number of containers returned is used to calculate the cost of the scheme, which is then billed to 'beverage *manufacturers', based on the number of eligible containers they have sold in Queensland.
  • To find out more about how it works, go to the Queensland Government website.

*Manufacturers are broadly defined for the purpose of the CRS as anyone who makes a beverage product, imports a beverage product from a foreign country or arranges for the distribution of a beverage product in Queensland.

What will it cost?

  • The CRS means a 10 cent refund must be available (for any eligible container) returned empty to an authorised container refund point.
  • In addition to the 10 cent refund there will be other costs associated with running the CRS.

Where can consumers get the 10 cent refund?

  • The Queensland Government has advised there will be a mix of commercially operated container refund points, charity operated donation points and Local Government recycling centres available to consumers.

What does it mean for me?

  • 'Beverage *manufacturers' may pass through this cost (including refund, handling, processing and logistics fees) in their price.
  • If your cost changes, this may be reflected in the Recommended Retail Price (RRP).
  • You have the opportunity to collect the 10 cent refund on eligible containers left on your premises.