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The Western Australian Government is introducing a statewide container deposit scheme.

Consumers will be able to get a 10 cent refund on all eligible beverage containers – plastic and glass bottles, paper-board cartons, and steel and aluminium cans between 150 millilitres and three litres. Examples of eligible beverage containers include:

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  • soft drink cans and bottles;
  • bottled waters – both plastic and glass;
  • small flavoured milk drinks;
  • beer and cider cans and bottles; and
  • sports drinks and spirit-based mixed drinks.

Beverage containers included in the scheme will carry a refund mark to identify them to consumers.

Western Australia’s container deposit scheme is expected to start on 1 January 2019.

The scheme will reduce litter, increase recycling and protect the environment. It will complement the Litter Prevention Strategy for Western Australia 2015-20 and the Western Australian Waste Strategy: Creating the Right Environment.

The scheme also provides opportunities for charitable and community groups to raise funds.

The scheme is intended to operate with kerbside recycling and other existing waste services. Communities without kerbside recycling services will be able to participate in recycling activities. The refund will encourage people to collect and recycle drink containers consumed away from home.

Consultation

CDS DiscussionPaperCover

The refund amount of 10 cents, the scope of containers and the requirement for refund mark have been set to align with other jurisdictions.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has released the Western Australian Container Deposit Scheme Discussion Paper for comment until 23 October 2017 and is seeking input on its design.

There are two ways to provide your feedback: via an anonymous online survey (on consumer preferences) and/or a detailed written submission to the Department. Written submissions must be received by 5pm (WST) on 23 October 2017. No late submissions will be considered.

Submissions can be lodged by email (preferred) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or hard copies can be mailed to:

Container Deposit Scheme
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation
Locked Bag 33
CLOISTERS SQUARE
PERTH WA 6850

For more information, please email your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Western Australia need a container deposit scheme?

A container deposit scheme (CDS) aims to reduce litter and improve recycling. Beverage containers account for 35% of all litter by volume in WA.

South Australia and the Northern Territory, which have schemes in place, have the lowest volume of beverage container litter in Australia. Along with WA, New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory are planning to implement container deposit schemes.

How will the CDS work in Western Australia?

Anyone returning an empty eligible beverage container with a refund mark to a refund point (including reverse vending machines) will receive a 10 cent refund. The scheme will operate statewide.

What items are included?

The scheme targets beverage containers most commonly seen as litter.

Examples of beverage containers between 150 millilitres and three litres in volume eligible for the refund include:

  • soft drink cans and bottles;
  • bottled waters – both plastic and glass;
  • small flavoured milk drinks;
  • beer and cider cans and bottles; and
  • sports drinks and spirit-based mixed drinks.


Containers that are not part of the scheme include:

  • plain milk (or milk substitute) containers;
  • flavoured milk containers of one litre or more;
  • pure fruit or vegetable juice containers of one litre or more;
  • glass containers for wine and spirits;
  • casks (plastic bladders in boxes) for wine and casks for water – one litre or more;
  • sachets for wine of 250 millilitres or more;
  • containers for cordials, concentrated fruit/vegetable juices; and
  • registered health tonics.

Why are milk containers and wine bottles not part of the CDS?

The scheme focuses on beverage containers that are usually consumed away from home and that are most commonly found as litter. Milk containers and wine bottles are mostly consumed in homes and placed in domestic recycling bins.

Can I start collecting empty containers now?

No. The 10 cent refund will only apply to containers acquired after the scheme commences.

Will I have to pay more for drinks which are eligible under the scheme? 

The cost of cans and bottles may increase to reflect the refund and scheme costs.

What happens to the containers redeemed at refund points?

Containers left at refund points will be sorted into material type (glass, aluminium, PET plastic or HDPE plastic etc.). The sorted containers will then be sent to a recycler for further processing and/or recycling or delivery to a final recycling destination.

Evidence that the beverage containers have been sent to a recycler will be provided by the refund point operators to the scheme coordinator.

How can I be sure that the containers are being recycled?

It is intended that the WA legislation will prohibit refunded beverage containers from being sent to landfill. The NSW and Queensland container deposit scheme legislation prohibits refunded containers from being sent to landfill.

Refund point operators will need to provide evidence to the scheme coordinator that refunded containers have been sent to recyclers. The scheme coordinator will audit the refund point operators. The scheme administrator will have the capacity to audit the scheme coordinator and undertake additional audits if required.

What else is the government doing to reduce litter?

The State Government is committed to reducing waste and litter across all waste streams. The CDS will complement the Western Australian Waste Strategy – Creating the Right Environment and the Litter Prevention Strategy for Western Australia 2015–20.

Should I continue recycling at home?

Yes. Recycling, whether through the scheme or at home, benefits the environment. 

Reducing our waste and improving our recycling is important. The latest national waste data (2014/15) shows that Western Australians on average sent 1.4 tonnes of waste to landfill per capita, which is the third highest rate in the country.

Recycling has positive economic benefits—creating more jobs than sending waste to landfill. Every 10,000 tonnes of waste recycled creates 9.2 full-time jobs compared with 2.8 jobs when the same amount of waste is sent to landfill.

When will the scheme start and how can I get more information?

The McGowan-Labor Government is working through the details with government, industry and community stakeholders to develop the best possible container deposit scheme for Western Australia. The scheme is expected to start in January 2019.

More information is available through the discussion paper, which is available on the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation website.  

Information on the webpage will be regularly updated, and you can sign up to our mailing list here: www.dwer.wa.gov.au/cds.

What has to happen before the scheme commences?

It is important that legislation changes, labelling requirements and measures required are in place and well understood by the community and industry before the scheme begins. The WA timing is similar to the New South Wales and Queensland schemes.

How many jobs will be created?

Recycling has positive economic benefits—creating more jobs than sending waste to landfill. Every 10,000 tonnes of waste recycled creates 9.2 full-time jobs compared with 2.8 jobs when the same amount of waste is sent to landfill.

Additional jobs will be created to operate the collection network. For example, South Australia estimates that approximately 1,000 people are employed through its collection network.

Links

Take our anonymous online survey 

WA container deposit scheme consumer preference questions


Premier Mark McGowan/Environment Minister Stephen Dawson's media statement.


NSW Scheme www.epa.nsw.gov.au/waste/container-deposit-scheme.htm

Queensland Scheme www.ehp.qld.gov.au/waste/container-refund-scheme/

South Australia Scheme www.epa.sa.gov.au/environmental_info/container_deposit

Northern Territory scheme www.ntepa.nt.gov.au/container-deposits

Updates

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Contact us

Contact us about the WA container deposit scheme,

Phone: 6364 7222

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.