Container Deposit Schemes in Australia
What’s a container deposit scheme?
The container deposit scheme (CDS) is one of the first pieces of environmental legislation to focus on the ‘polluter pays’ principle, where beverage suppliers are responsible for funding a refund for returned drink containers. If someone discards an empty container they forfeit the right to the refund and someone else would benefit by picking it up and collecting that refund.
It is also an example of product stewardship legislation in which the beverage industry is obliged to take greater responsibility for its packaging after it has been sold. Beverage suppliers must ensure that a system is in place for the recovery and recycling of their empty beverage containers.
Eligible containers can be taken to a collection depot or placed in a reverse vending machine to reclaim money for their drink container.
What are the benefits?
With waste becoming a bigger and bigger problem, container deposit schemes provide a financial incentive to reduce litter, leading to cleaner beaches, waterways, parks and streets, and mean less recyclable materials are sent to landfill.