The conservative Qld government had rejected container deposits and the community campaign for many years and was a key proponent of the weak alternatives proposed by the beverage companies such as Coke and Lion. The surprise election of an ALP government in 2015 with a policy to implement the scheme was the turning point.
On September 5th 2017, we welcomed the unanimous passage of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill through the Queensland Parliament, which confirmed a Container Refund Scheme (CRS).
This policy represents the most significant litter and plastic pollution measures introduced into Queensland in generations. It's 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 Queensland Scheme is called 'Containers for Change' and is operated by Container Exchange, a not-for-profit entity set up by the beverage industry. You can learn more about how the scheme works, find where you can redeem containers and which containers are eligible, and how you can get involved at the Containers for Change website.
The scheme has had some problems with sufficient effective refund points for consumers and the return rate is languishing around 60% - failing to meet its 2022 target of 85%. Boomerang and TEC issued a Health Report in 2020 and will be reviewing the scheme again in 2022.