NSW Container Deposit Scheme – Return and Earn


The NSW Government Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) charges for manufacturers commence on November 1. Called Return and Earn this is the NSW Government’s initiative to help meet the Premier’s goal of reducing the volume of litter in NSW by 40% by 2020.


This means all eligible beverages will cost more. From our member research we estimate the cost will be around 15 cents per container. 10 cents of this is a deposit redeemable from December 1, the remaining amount is fees and charges to run the CDS.

Eligible containers are most containers 150ml to 3 litres in size with some exceptions such as plain milk and health tonics.

This is because all beverage suppliers into NSW are required to pay fees and charges to administer the Return and Earn CDS in addition to the 10 cent deposit. They are passing this cost on to consumers.

Information is available online: and


I’m a retailer. What do I tell my customers about the CDS price change?

The NSW Container Deposit Scheme is a government program. It imposes new costs on beverage manufacturers both to administer the CDS and to make available the ten cent deposit for consumers. The price increase you’re seeing on the shelf is a direct result of this NSW Government initiative.


When do the charges start?

Most of our members (beverage manufacturers) will start charging their customers for the CDS fees and charges + the 10 cent deposit from November 1. This is because the NSW Government will issue the first CDS invoice to suppliers on November 1, for payment on November 8.


When can consumers redeem their 10 cent deposit?

Consumers can redeem their 10 cent deposit from December 1 at a network of collection points. The NSW Government has advised these will be listed on Consumers cannot redeem the CDS fees and charges. This is the cost to run the CDS.


How are the CDS costs calculated?

Return and Earn is the Scheme Coordinator and has published proposed costs to run the CDS online at Each manufacturer has used these costs to decide the potential cost to their business, and therefore the CDS charge on their products. Until the Return and Earn CDS is fully functioning it isn’t possible to know exactly what it will cost.


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