Container Deposit Schemes
- New South Wales

The NSW Container Deposit Scheme, Return and Earn, commenced in NSW on 1 December 2017.

How Return and Earn works

The New South Wales Environment Protection Authority [NSW EPA] is responsible for the design and development of the NSW Container Deposit Scheme [CDS]. The EPA manages the registration of all eligible beverage containers and the obligations and performance of contracts with the scheme coordinator and network operator.

Beverage suppliers selling product into NSW fund the Return and Earn scheme. Any businesses selling beverages in containers or giving them away as part of a promotion, whether manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers or retailers must enter a supply agreement with the scheme coordinator and register any eligible containers.

The scheme operations are delivered through fee-for-service contracts:

  • The scheme coordinator, Exchange for Change, is contracted to provide financial management, scheme auditing, fraud identification, verification, community education and marketing. A key role is to manage beverage suppliers and ensure supplier funds are paid into the scheme.
  • The network operator, TOMRA Cleanaway, a for profit company, is contracted to set up and run a state-wide network of return points and manages the logistics and sale of commodities to ensure all collected containers are recycled.

Most NSW beverage containers between 150 mL and 3 litres in volume are eligible for a 10-cent refund. Refunds can be claimed in several ways including retail vouchers, electronic or cash refunds or can be donated to charity.

Containers ineligible for a refund under the NSW CDS

Containers that are not included in the Scheme and, therefore, do not qualify for a refund are:

  • plain milk or milk substitute containers
  • flavoured milk containers of 1 litre or more
  • pure fruit or vegetable juice containers of 1 litre or more
  • glass containers for wine and spirits
  • casks (plastic bladders in boxes) for wine and casks for water of 1 litre or more
  • sachets for wine of 250 millilitres or more
  • containers for cordials, or concentrated fruit and vegetable juices
  • registered health tonics

These exceptions are like those in other State/Territory CDS.

Return Points

There are more than 600 return points across NSW. Find a return point via the Return and Earn website.

Beverage Companies

If you are a manufacturer, distributor, importer, contract bottler or retailer supplying beverage containers into/within NSW, you may be considered a First Supplier. Follow the steps to determine if you are required to register your business for the NSW Container Deposit Schemes (CDS).

State CDS Information for Manufacturers

Manufacturers can find further information on the Exchange for Change website, including details on the requirements for first suppliers.

The link below provides information for exporters. An “export” means a beverage product that is supplied outside of New South Wales for the first time where that beverage product has been previously supplied by a supplier in New South Wales. This is subject to any specific inclusions or exclusions contained in this protocol.

CDS information for exporters
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