From 1 November, Queenslanders can turn used beverage containers into cold, hard cash.

A new state-wide container refund scheme – Containers for Change – will allow people to collect and return eligible containers for recycling, in exchange for a 10 cent refund.

The Queensland Government is introducing the scheme in a bid to reduce the amount of beverage container litter that enters our environment.

Here are the basics of what you need to know about the refund scheme:

How does it work?

Eligible containers can be exchanged for a 10 cent refund at authorised container refund points.

They can also be donated at authorised donation points set up by local community groups or charities, in which case the charity or group would receive the 10 cent refund.

Containers can be returned by individuals or organisations and any number of containers can be returned at one time, providing the specific container refund point has capacity to accept them.

Where can I take my containers?

The scheme will launch with 230 refund points across the state. In Ipswich, eligible containers can be taken to:

  • TOMRA Collection, 355 Brisbane St, West Ipswich – Over-the-counter depot. Payment: cash, electronic funds transfer
  • Re.Turn It, West Ipswich – Over-the-counter depot. Payment: cash, electronic funds transfer
  • Re.Turn It, Rosewood – Over-the-counter depot. Payment: cash, electronic funds transfer
  • Re.Turn It, Yamanto – Drop-off (bag it, tag it, drop it). Payment: electronic funds transfer
  • Re.Turn It, Springfield – Drop-off (bag it, tag it, drop it). Payment: electronic funds transfer
  • Envirobank Recycling, Redbank Plains Road and Argyle St, Redbank Plains – Drop-off/reverse vending machines. Payment: electronic funds transfer
  • Envirobank Recycling, 259-277 Mt Crosby Road, Karalee – Drop-off/reverse vending machines. Payment: electronic funds transfer
  • The Big Red Shed, 30 East Owen St, Raceview – Drop-off (bag it, tag it, drop it). Payment: electronic funds transfer

For full details, including opening hours and contact numbers of container refund points, visit www.containersforchange.com.au/where-can-i-return

What are the different types of collection points?

Over-the-counter depots: Using manual or electronic scanners, these depots will count your containers straight away and provide refunds in cash or via an electronic funds transfer – depending on how many containers you have.

Drop-offs (bag it, tag it, drop it): These are a convenient way to recycle containers and receive a refund. The three key steps are:

  • Bag it: bag your containers using a bag from a local container refund point or use your own. Single-use plastic bags are not suitable
  • Tag it: tag your containers using labels from your local container refund point, displaying your scheme ID and transaction ID. Find out more about scheme and transaction IDs here.
  • Drop it: drop off your containers at your local container refund point

Drop-offs/reverse vending machines: Using your scheme ID or unique ID of your local community group or charity, you can scan the barcode and insert uncrushed cans, plastic bottles and liquid paperboard containers into a reverse vending machine.

What containers are eligible?

Most beverage containers between 150ml and 3L in volume are eligible.

Containers must be empty. Rinsing them before returning is not essential but it will help you store them cleanly. Caps should also be removed from bottles.

The following containers are not eligible:

  • Any beverage container less than 150ml
  • Any beverage container more than 3L
  • Any size or material type of container used for:
    • Undiluted cordial containers
    • Fruit or vegetable juice concentrate
    • Registered health tonics
    • Plain milk
  • Glass containers of any size for wine or pure spirits
  • Containers over 1L in size for:
    • Flavoured milk
    • Pure fruit juice
    • Pure vegetable juice
    • Cask water
    • Cask wine
  • Wine sachets of more than 250ml or less than 150ml

A full list of eligible containers can be found here.

Does my container need to have a label or barcode on it to be returned?

Yes, if you are returning the container to a reverse vending machine. The machine will read the barcode to ensure the container is eligible to be returned.

If you return the container to any other type of refund point, then your container must be visually recognisable as an eligible container. If it is deemed not recognisable, it may not be accepted.

How will I receive my refund?

Container refund points will pay the refund amount as cash or cash-equivalent (eg, voucher or electronic payment).

Be sure to check with individual refund points what options it provides for payment of refunds.

What is a reverse vending machine and how does it work?

A reverse vending machine is a machine where you can return empty eligible containers such as bottles and cans for recycling.

When you insert your empty container into the machine, it will scan your container to ensure it is eligible for a refund. When you have finished depositing containers, the machine will issue a refund.

Be sure to check the type of refund point and conditions of the location for how a specific machine will issue the refund.

What about eligible containers that I put in my kerbside recycling bin?

Eligible containers placed in kerbside recycling bins will be redeemed by Ipswich City Council.

Important note: The Containers for Change scheme does not replace the direction to NOT put glass bottles in the yellow-top household recycle bin in Ipswich. Glass collection points in Ipswich for people not wanting to use the Containers for Change scheme will continue. For a refresher on glass collection points, go here.

What if I have other questions?

The best place to start is the Containers for Change website at www.containersforchange.com.au

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