Media release
2 JUL 2019

2 billion is huge – now for 3 billion and beyond!

Return and Earn has recycled its two billionth container and it’s time for everyone in NSW who is making the container deposit scheme a success to give themselves a pat on the back.

In just 19 months the NSW Return and Earn scheme has passed the major milestone of two billion drink containers recycled, thanks to the efforts of hundreds of thousands of individuals and families across the state. Almost half of the adult population of NSW has participated in Return and Earn and with the scheme delivering benefits for the environment, jobs and communities, there are plenty of great reasons to get involved.

One benefit is a 57 per cent reduction in eligible container litter volume around the state – a great achievement for the scheme that is the largest litter reduction initiative ever undertaken in NSW. Return and Earn is also redirecting valuable resources away from litter and landfill to create streams of cleaner, higher quality materials for reuse and recycling.

The Return and Earn scheme has so far created more than 500 new jobs in the growing recycling and sustainability space, ranging from technicians maintaining the high-tech reverse vending machine network to staff working at the $7 million Cleanaway Eastern Creek facility that handles about 80 per cent of the containers returned through the scheme.

Return and Earn has also become a valuable asset for community groups, with around $440,000 in donations raised by 350-plus groups that have so far featured as donation partners on reverse vending machines and much more raised by groups who have taken up their own Return and Earn drives.

As NSW starts building towards its 3 billionth container and beyond, there are many ways to be a part of the Return and Earn effort. You can learn more about the scheme or find the return point closest to you on this website.