Cash for cans

In 1977, South Australia introduced a deposit scheme for bottles and cans, where people could return their drink bottles or cans and receive a refund of up to 10 cents per bottle or can. For over forty years, South Australians have embraced this scheme, resulting in over 580 million drink containers being recycled each year and the lowest percentage of drink containers in their litter. A successful scheme by any measure.

South Australia was the only state or territory with such a scheme for 35 years until the Northern Territory introduced one in 2012. Other states, including Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales, have followed suit, and my home state of Victoria has finally committed to introducing a 'cash for cans' scheme in 2023.

The scheme aims to dramatically decrease the number of drink containers in household recycling bins and allow three billion containers to be correctly recycled every year. An increased price for drinks will fund the 10 cents refund per container. However, the proposed scheme will ensure that community organisations, charities, and sporting clubs are at the heart of the scheme to raise much-needed funds.

Victoria has finally stepped in line with the other states and is taking the recycling of containers seriously. It has been long overdue.