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Impact Calculator
How do we calculate?
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  • People
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How do we calculate?

Calculate your impact

Welcome to the Return and Earn Impact Calculator. This interactive tool will let you see the water, energy and landfill savings you make when you Return and Earn.

Calculate your impact
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How we calculate

Calculations for the Impact Calculator are based on findings of a lifecycle analysis (LCA) of drink containers returned at Return and Earn return points across NSW. The LCA was conducted by Grant, T., and Berenyi T, (2021), Lifecycles Australia, with the final report provided on 11 October, 2021.

The full report can be viewed here The LCA has been peer reviewed by an independent practitioner (Kyle O’Farrell, Envisage Works, 7 October 2021) as stated in ISO 14044 Clauses 6.1 and 6.2. The review has been performed to provide assurance of the credibility of the LCA and its results.

Water savings

1010 litres

Energy savings

727 megajoules

Landfill savings

64.1 kg of CO2e

Impact per 1000 items returned by type

Impact category Unit Aluminium
Glass bottles HDPE bottles PET bottles Liquid paper
Water savings ml^3 -1760 -411 178 -881 -845 9.15
Energy savings mj NCV -753 -735 -4870 -669 39.5 10.1
Landfill savings kg CO2 eq -75.6 -81.9 -133 -34.6 -0.847 0.576

Data sources

Did you know people recycle an average of 75 containers per trip? (Average is for machines only. Source: Network operator, TOMRA Cleanaway)

It takes less water to make a new container from recycled plastic or glass than it does from new materials. (Source: Lifecycles Australia, 2021)

Making glass from recycled materials requires only 40% of the energy needed to make glass from new materials. (Source: Cleanaway https://cleanaway2stor.blob.core.windows.net/cleanaway2-blob-container/2020/06/Glass.pdf)

By recycling through Return and Earn, your bottles and cans can be recycled and back on the shelf as a new container in as little as 4-8 weeks. (Source: Logistics provider, Cleanaway - https://bit.ly/3Cn3Dal)

Community impact numbers are calculated by projecting NSW households participating in the scheme.

Number for NSW based on total private dwellings (3,059,599) from the 2016 ABS Census data.
Source: https://quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/1?opendocument

Number for Community (32,899) based on an average of total NSW private dwellings (3,059.599) ÷ total NSW electoral districts 2019 (93)
Source: https://quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/1?opendocument
Source: https://www.elections.nsw.gov.au/redistribution/About-redistribution/Overview

Garbage truck capacity is based on an Australian rear lift truck with a payload capacity of 9.5 tonnes
Source: https://waster.com.au/australian-garbage-trucks/