In July 2017, a container deposit scheme (CDS) for plastic and glass drink bottles and aluminium cans will be introduced in NSW as a way to reduce litter and encourage recycling. South Australia has had a scheme since 1977 and the NT since 2011. Queensland and the ACT are expected to follow soon and Western Australia in 2018.
Ten cents will be paid for every drink container between 150ml and 3 litres and displaying the NSW CDS label. Appropriate containers can be taken to a collection depot or placed in a reverse vending machine to reclaim the refund. Councils will receive the 10 cent refund for drink containers that end up in their recycling bins.
Germany, Norway and the Netherlands have a 95% or higher recycling rate with their deposit scheme. In South Australian, the scheme has resulted in an 80% return rate of containers. Given that drink containers make up nearly half of all litter in public places, recycling schemes have the potential to drastically reduce the amount of litter. On a local scale, such a scheme can also raise a sizeable amount of funds for local schools, charities and community groups.