Container Refund Scheme

Last weekend the ACT became the fourth jurisdiction in Australia to introduce a Container Deposit Scheme, where residents can return eligible containers for a ten cent refund.

The Territory follows SA and NT, where a similar scheme has been in place for many years, as well as NSW, which introduced a similar scheme last December. QLD and WA are both introducing container deposit schemes in the coming twelve months.

The NRA has worked closely with the ACT Government to ensure the design of the scheme minimises administrative costs to industry. To this end the scheme is closely aligned with NSW, with the same containers eligible in either jurisdiction. A two-year grace period is in place for industry to ensure eligible containers have the standardised CDS symbol that will be used across the ACT, NSW, SA, QLD, WA and NT.

Further, ACT have appointed Exchange for Change as an incorporated ACT business to be the Scheme Coordinator. The appointment ensures a more integrated cross border experience for both retailers and residents in the ACT and NSW.

A key issue in the retail industry during the introduction of the NSW Return and Earn scheme was the lack of support provided to retailers to explain the scheme and associated price rises to their customers. Exchange for Change Act have taken this on board and produced a retailers toolkit to provide information on the scheme, where and how to return, and price increases.

The NRA will continue to work with the QLD and WA governments to represent the views of the retail industry in the design of their schemes.