Container Deposit Scheme

On 8 May 2016, the Premier of NSW, the Hon Mike Baird MP, and the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Mark Speakman MP, announced that NSW will have a 10 cent refund Container Deposit Scheme to be launched across NSW from July 2017. This will be the State’s largest ever litter-reduction initiative with NSW residents able to return their empty drink containers for a 10 cent refund from July 2017 as part of a best practice scheme.

The announcement of the scheme has generated much interest from stakeholders and the community. To provide people with information about the scheme, the NSW EPA will be holding a series of briefings around the state next week. Please see below for further information about the briefings.

Drink containers make up the largest proportion of NSW litter volume

Littered drink containers account for 44% of the litter by volume in NSW, almost twice the next largest category of litter volume. An estimated 160 million drink containers end up as litter in NSW streets and waterways every year.

The CDS will complement existing anti-littering programs such as Hey Tosser! and the Waste Less Recycle More litter grants program and is expected to make a significant contribution toward the Premier’s priority goal of reducing litter volume by 40 per cent by 2020.

NSW Container Deposit Scheme

The scheme has been designed with input from waste, industry and community experts and follows a public consultation process that resulted in over 11,700 submissions, which were overwhelmingly in favour of the introduction of a CDS.

The proposed scheme will apply to most drink containers between 150ml and 3 litres that display the requisite NSW CDS labelling which will shortly be developed.

The scheme will be run by a single scheme coordinator to be chosen through an expression of interest process that will be assessed by an independent advisory committee. The scheme coordinator will be responsible for ensuring that a comprehensive network of collection depots is established across the state to receive returned beverage containers and pay out the refund.

Next Steps

The next steps are for the Minister for the Environment to appoint a CDS Implementation Working Group to develop an implementation strategy for the roll-out of the scheme.

New legislation will also be drafted, with the draft Bill to go out for public consultation prior to being introduced into Parliament later in the year. Once the legislation is in place, the Minister will establish an advisory committee and seek expressions of interest for a scheme coordinator to administer the scheme.


Further information

Further information about the container deposit scheme can be found on the EPA website at: