How to solve Queensland's plastic pollution crisis


On 22 July this year, the Queensland State Government, with the backing of the LNP and all Independent MPs, announced the introduction of a Container Deposit (cash for containers) Scheme for Queensland in 2018. This is a great leap forward for litter reduction, recycling and collection (and the jobs that go with this) and for community organisations who can make money from collecting bottles and cans.

The announcement is a stunning victory for all of us who have worked hard to get action to address litter and particularly plastic litter in Queensland. It’s something to celebrate as one of the most significant environmental policies in a generation.

With over 40 such systems around the world producing huge benefits it’s clearly a good move for Queensland. However, when it comes to recycling reform, the devil is in the detail - and we need to ensure that the QLD Government gets every detail right. From accurate statistics on rubbish quantities, to smart Cash for Containers deposit locations, to making sure a scheme is based on the most effective systems around the world -- there’s lots of work to be done. Most of all we need to make sure the QLD Government has the facts and community backing to resist the lobbying efforts Coke and their industry friends are spending millions on.

We want you to join in and have your say on what kind of system we end up with – we want a STRONG system for Queensland. The facts are on our side, we've got the research to back it up and examples of what is best-practice from around the world. Here’s just a snapshot of some of the benefits of a strong container deposit scheme in QLD:

  • Keep millions of tonnes of bottles and cans out of our streets, beaches and bushland

  • Reduce beverage container litter by 60% and triple recycling rates

  • Generate hundreds of jobs across the State

  • Save local councils tens of millions of dollars every year by reducing  recycling costs

  • Introduce bottle and can recycling to most of Qld where kerbside collections does not exist

  • Containers can be easily collected by reverse vending machines or at community drop off centres across the State or gifted to charities

  • Provide over $25 million each year to charities willing to collect can and bottles 



The Queensland State Government will be releasing a discussion paper soon outlining design options for the new container deposit scheme. When this happens, we will make this information available and provide a template submission you can use to have your say on the scheme.

We will also have the ability for you to sign on to our own submission, and you can use your voice to make our case for a best practice scheme even stronger!

In the meantime, you can write a letter to your local MP or the QLD Environment Minister, Steven Miles, urging them to choose a best practice design for Queensland.

You can also write a letter to your local MP or the QLD Environment Minister, Steven Miles

Here's an example letter to send to your local MP - the more personal you make it the better!

Here's an example letter to send to the Qld Environment minister, Steven Miles.



A container deposit scheme is based on a refundable deposit able to be redeemed by the consumer or collectors at convenient locations. In other words, people get cash for recycling their containers. There are over 40 such systems around the world including in South Australia and the Northern Territory.  In SA which has a 10 cent deposit, over 85% of containers are recycled.