• Meaghan Scanlon, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs.
    Meaghan Scanlon, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs.
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More than $500 million has gone back into the pockets of Queenslanders, with the Palaszczuk government revealing that five billion containers have been refunded from the state through its popular Containers for Change scheme.

Megan Scanlon, environment minister, said Queenslanders reached the significant milestone this week, stopping thousands of tonnes of bottles, cans and poppers from ending up in landfill, and collecting cash for it.

“Containers have become too good to waste. Not only have we reduced the amount of rubbish ending up in waterways, we’ve given new life to thousands of tonnes of recycled materials, and created hundreds of good jobs at the same time,” explained Scanlon.

“Through Containers for Change and our $1.1 billion Recycling and Jobs Fund, Queensland has become a powerhouse in the war on waste, and for the emerging resource recovery industry.”

The Containers for Change scheme provides a 10-cent refund to customers returning eligible beverage containers to more than 360 refund points across the Queensland-wide network.

“More than 800 jobs have been created through the scheme as Queenslanders help us sort, count and process these billions of containers refunded – and we know there’s billions more to come,” Scanlon added.

Scanlon revealed the state’s achievement at Suncorp Stadium, during last night's 2022 State of Origin decider, where for the first time ever, Origin spectators were able to use specially marked Containers for Change bins to save thousands of containers from landfill.

The Maroons took out this year's State of Origin decider in an intense game. Credit: NRL.com
The Maroons took out this year's State of Origin decider in an intense game. Credit: NRL.com

Refunds from the containers collected during last night's sold-out Game 3 will be distributed to charities and community groups, with already more than $7 million donated through container refunds since 2018.

“We want to see some big numbers, and as expected, thousands of drinks in refundable containers were enjoyed as fans celebrated the game, and we want to ensure as many of those as possible are saved from landfill,” said Scanlon.

Virginie Marley, interim CEO of Container Exchange, the not-for-profit that runs the container deposit scheme, said there are more ways than ever for people to cash in or donate their containers.

“In 2022 alone, we have added dozens of new container refund points to the network across Queensland, from one of the most remote towns in Australia in Birdsville, to some of the country’s business shopping centres, the network has more than 360 container refund points and counting,” commented Marley. 

“There are more ways than ever before to use the scheme, including a trial of a free home collection service, drive through depots, bag drops, and reverse vending machines, recyclers can choose what suits their lifestyle.“

For more information on the containers eligible for refunds, or for details on refund point locations, visit the Containers for Change website.  

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