Every year in WA we use 1.3 billion drink containers. Containers for Change arrived in Western Australia on 1 October 2020, generating a huge wave of enthusiasm for recycling. The scheme is delivered through a network of refund points, where consumers can drop off eligible containers for recycling and receive a cash incentive.
The initial focus for the program is targeting drink containers that are commonly found as litter.
Most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard drink containers between 150ml and 3L are eligible for a refund.
This is an easy way to remember which containers are eligible: Aluminium is a win. Glass and plastic are always in. Steel and paper are good to go. But milk and wine bottles are a no.
Eligible containers must:
Be included on the scheme’s list of products. Use the Containers for Change eligibility checker to ensure your containers are eligible.
Display the refund mark (e.g. “10c refund at collection depots/points in participating State/Territory of purchase”)
Some examples of the eligible containers for recycling
Some depots are also accepting plastic lids, as long as they have been separated from the bottles. There are some drink containers that are not eligible for a refund. Generally, excluded containers are those that are less than 150ml and greater than 3L.
Containers That Are Not Eligible
Excluded containers include:
Any plain milk containers
Any glass containers which have contained wine or pure spirits
Containers 1L or larger which have contained flavoured milk, pure fruit or vegetable juice
All cordial or syrup containers
Registered health tonics
How To Cash In Containers
Each eligible container returned earns a 10c refund. Some refund points offer cash payments, or you can set up a scheme ID to receive refunds directly into your bank account.
There are four different ways to return your containers:
Depots - these are walk in or drive through facilities where containers are counted and refunded on the spot.
Bag drops - bags of containers can be conveniently dropped off at various locations and refunds are received via a scheme ID.
Reverse Vending Machines - they count containers by scanning the barcodes and issuing a refund via EFT or retail cash voucher.
Pop-up refund points - look out for local operators who may be running temporary collection points at local events like farmers markets.
One of the best aspects of this scheme is the ability to donate refunds to a charity or community group. Simply quote your group’s scheme ID when you drop off your containers and the funds will be attributed to their account.
To find your nearest refund point visit the Containers for Change website