Queensland Container Refund Scheme under the microscope

Environmentalists today welcomed the forthcoming review of the state’s Container Refund Scheme, calling for root and branch assessment of the governance, consumer convenience and recycling outcomes.

The scheme run by COEX has dismally failed to reach its target of 85% recovery by 30 June 2022. It now stands at 62%. Every container refund not recovered is an impost on consumers, already battling cost of living pressures. Tens of millions of dollars are not being returned to households and the scheme must bear some responsibility for this.

We are also undertaking a review of all the drink container refund schemes in Australia and we look forward to participating in the Queensland review. It is critical that the Qld Minister takes a broad approach and forensically examines issues of governance, organisational culture, return point access and ease of use, relationships with refund point operators, eligible containers, transparency, accountability and government power to remedy problems.

With the right settings, container refunds can deliver impressive circular economy results.  That’s good for jobs, new investment in reprocessing and of course cleaning up the environment.