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7 Billion containers

Media release
24 FEB 2022

Return and Earn hits 7 billion containers returned milestone

More than $700 million in container refunds have now been earned by NSW residents through Return and Earn as the State reaches the 7 billion drink container mark.

Environment Minister James Griffin said Return and Earn has well and truly become part of life in New South Wales with 78 per cent of adults having participated and two-thirds of participants doing so once a month or more.

“Return and Earn is a triumph because it hits that sweet spot of improving our environment and delivering direct economic wins to the community,” Mr Griffin said.

“Along the way, the Return and Earn network has achieved a 52 per cent reduction in the volume of drink container litter in NSW and delivered more than 625,000 tonnes in materials recycled.”

“Not only is it having a measurable environmental impact with two in every three containers supplied in NSW redeemed through the scheme for recycling, Return and Earn has also become a stalwart of community fundraising activities in NSW.

“More than $30 million has already been raised for charities such as PCYC NSW, the Starlight Foundation and community groups via donations and fees since the scheme started.

“It’s encouraging that thousands of schools, community groups, charities and sporting clubs are making Return and Earn the new ‘sausage sizzle’, helping raise much needed funds for their own projects and causes.

“Return and Earn is an inspiring example of how small changes to our routine can have a significant collective impact.”

Return and Earn is a partnership between the NSW Government, scheme coordinator Exchange for Change and network operator TOMRA Cleanaway. Launched in December 2017 it has become the state’s largest litter initiative.

Find more information on Return and Earn and how it works here.