Responsible management for a sustainable future

Container refund schemes are designed to ensure drink containers made from certain materials are able to be returned to be recycled. Refunds are paid to customers to incentivise them to return these containers and collect money for themselves or donate it to good causes in their community.

Companies who make beverages and sell them in Queensland pay a fee to Container Exchange to cover the refunds paid to customers, the cost of operating the refund point network and transporting containers for processing and sale to accredited recyclers.

The amount paid by beverage manufacturers depends on the number of containers they sell and the type of material those containers are made from.

Scheme expansion
If you sell glass wine and pure spirit bottles into Queensland, you will need to register with Container Exchange.
Register with us
If you’re new to selling products into Queensland, you can start your registration online today.

Working in partnership

Container Exchange works with more than 700 beverage manufacturers who sell their products in Queensland. These companies are obligated to follow the state Government’s Waste Reduction and Recycling (Container Refund Scheme) Amendment Regulation in order to operate legally in Queensland.

In August 2023 the Queensland Government changed the Regulation to include glass wine and pure spirit bottles in the scheme.

Container Exchange partners with beverage manufacturers to help meet these Queensland Government requirements. A product stewardship initiative, COEX establishes a Container Recovery Agreement (CRA) with manufacturers helping them to register eligible products, report monthly sales and provide funds to administer the “Containers for Change initiative.”

Learn more

Meet the beverage manufacturer

Meet New South Wales-based beverage manufacturer, Shaun & Tessa Martin from Mt Warning Beverage Co.

Supporting those who support us

We work with beverage manufacturers to help them sustainably manage the lifecycle of their products.

Our dedicated beverage manufacturer support team provide:

Assistance with registering eligible products

Support establishing a Container Recovery Agreement

Assigning a member number to help you track your account

Guidance to help you meet sales reporting requirements

Assistance in monthly sales reporting requirements

Regular communications about Containers for Change initiatives

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Access the latest updates, resources and support for beverage manufacturers.

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Beverage manufacturer contributions

The contribution that manufacturers make on each container varies depending on the material it is made from. The stronger the recycling outcomes for a material are, the lower the contribution.

Scheme announcement: COEX has determined that there will be no adjustments to the scheme price for eligible beverage products, sold in the Queensland market from August 2024 to January 2025. The next pricing review will be announced in the month of October.


Material Type Current Initiative Price exc. GST (from 1 August 2024)*
Aluminum 12.8
Glass 13.9
HDPE 13.5
PET 13.5
LPB / Steel / Other 13.9
Weighted Average 13.3
*This is the price manufacturers contribute for each beverage product sold by material type into QLD
Next COEX initiative price review: October 2024

Container Exchange is committed to maintaining stable pricing to reduce the administrative effort for beverage manufacturers and price certainty for their customers.

Pricing reviews are conducted to align with other industry pricing changes and consider factors such as overall scheme performance, environmental targets and the effect the continuing growth in return rates across Queensland has on operational costs.


My product might be sold to a customer before 1 November and returned for a refund after this date? How do I report that sale?

Only sales after 1 November 2023 need to be declared. 

Are the reporting thresholds relating to ‘sales’ in Queensland or amount ‘manufactured’?

Reporting is based on sales into Queensland. 

Why are payment terms only 5 days?

The payment terms of 5 business days have been designed to ensure the Queensland Container Refund Scheme has sufficient funds to pass to customers when redeeming containers. 

How is Scheme performance tracked?

COEX reports on the Scheme’s performance within its annual report each year. This is available here.


Can I calculate my Scheme tax invoice in advance for cash flow planning?

Yes, by multiplying the fixed price per material by the actual historical container volumes supplied and reported into the Business Partner Portal by the beverage manufacturer.

How is Scheme contribution pricing calculated?

COEX model the expected level of total revenue that is sufficient to cover the aggregated costs incurred to operate the Scheme. COEX is a not-for-profit organisation where excess cash reserves are drawn to fund future Scheme costs.

How does COEX determine the final Scheme prices?

COEX applies an evidence-based approach and uses contemporary cost and activity data.
In making pricing decisions, COEX balances a range of pricing principles and policy objectives, including improving the efficiency and accessibility of the Queensland Container Deposit Scheme.
Activity data assumptions include:

  • Projected container collections by material type – pricing supports the increased investment in activities and collection growth throughout the Collection Refund Points network and MRFs.
  • Cost of operating the Scheme – aggregate costs associated with container collections and operational scheme costs.
  • Liquidity – ensures COEX has sufficient liquidity to pay our customers, operators, and MRFs on time and in full, many of whom are small and local businesses.
What do the beverage manufacturers contributions fund?

COEX sets the amounts payable by beverage manufacturers by calculating a unit price payable for each beverage product sold in Queensland (Scheme price). COEX determines the Scheme price for each individual material type with reference to the Scheme objectives, the forecast average costs to be incurred (in respect of the Scheme’s operation per beverage product sold of each material type) and COEX’s current and forecast capital reserves. Any excess cash reserves are drawn to fund future Scheme costs.

Beverage manufacturers’ contributions cover the core scheme costs such as:

  • Customers refunds – are paid to customers once the collection refund operator has processed the customer claim.
  • Cost associated with operating the network – fees paid to refund points to collect and sort eligible empty containers, transportation, and processing fees.
  • MRF refunds – fees paid to Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to collect eligible containers through kerbside recycling.
  • Exports rebates – a rebate for beverage manufacturers whose beverage containers have been exported from Queensland.
  • PRO fees – fees attributable to the overarching coordination and administration of the container refund scheme.
Will my sales volumes be audited?

Yes. COEX will periodically engage an independent auditor to ensure compliance with your obligations under the Container Recovery Agreement and with the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011. We will aim to have any audit done in parallel with other container refund initiatives to ensure minimum disruption to your day-to-day operations.

Are there any training materials for exporters?

Exporters can click here to download a training webinar recording to assist with completing the export sale statement.

Are airlines or cruise lines exempt from the Queensland container refund initiative?

All beverage manufacturers, including airlines and cruise operators, are required to pay initiative contributions on eligible beverage products sold or supplied in Queensland. However, airlines and cruise lines can claim an export rebate for eligible beverage products that have had the initiative price paid and are then exported out of Queensland (including those sold on a plane or cruise ship).

How do I claim an export rebate?

After completing the Exporter Deed Poll, you can lodge the monthly submission via the COEX Business Partner Portal on or by the 15th of each month.

Who can claim the export rebate?

A business who exports eligible beverage products outside Queensland may claim an export rebate if:

  1. another initiative manufacturer has reported the sale of the beverage product in Queensland to COEX and has made the appropriate initiative contribution on the sale,
  2. the exporter has completed and returned COEX’s Export Deed Poll and has read and reviewed the Export Deed Protocol, and
  3. COEX has set up the exporter with access to COEX’s Business Partner Portal for export sales volumes.
What is an export rebate?

In some circumstances, beverage products that are manufactured or first sold into QLD will be exported out of the state – either overseas or into another state or territory. Because these containers are not consumed and/or redeemed in Queensland, they do not become a cost to the Queensland initiative. The exporter of the containers may be eligible for an export rebate as a result.

An export rebate is a refund on the contribution the beverage manufacturer has paid on eligible beverage containers sold or supplied in Queensland that are then exported to another state or overseas.

What do I have to provide as an exporter?

You will need to log in to the COEX Business Partner Portal and provide:

  1. the number of exports for each material type in the relevant calendar month,
  2. the member number (AKA scheme ID) of the manufacturer who first sold the beverage products in Queensland, and
  3. the State or Territory where you have exported and sold the beverage products.
What is a beverage manufacturers’ annual declaration?

At the end of each financial year, you must complete and return an annual declaration that either confirms your reported volumes are true and correct or otherwise provides revised sales volumes. Although it is a requirement of your Container Recovery Agreement, it is an opportunity for you to adjust your submitted numbers for the previous 12 months to ensure they are accurate.

We will let you know when this is due and how you can submit this.

I failed to report and received a forecast invoice, can I do a true-up?

Please log into the COEX Business Partner Portal and report your true and correct volumes for that month. The system will automatically reconcile your forecast invoice on your next invoice.

If the month has closed in the Portal, please email with clear written instruction on the sales volume by month and by material type.

I submitted my volumes but made a mistake, how do I adjust it?

Please provide written instruction to with the true and correct sales volumes by month and by material type.

How and when will I be invoiced?

If you sell less than 300,000 units annually, then you will be invoiced quarterly. If you sell more than 300,000 units annually, then you will be invoiced monthly.

COEX will invoice you on around the 21st day of the month, following the end of the relevant reporting period.

What reporting do I need to do and by when?

Beverage manufacturers are required to submit the number of eligible beverage products they have sold into Queensland in the previous calendar month. This needs to be done by the 15th of each calendar month and via the COEX Business Partner Portal.

If you do not make any sales in a month, you must still log in and report ‘Nil’. If you fail to report at all, COEX will generate an invoice based on your historical sales in that reporting period.

What is a refund mark?

All eligible beverage products sold in Queensland must have a refund mark and a barcode. The refund mark is a statement on the label of the container that identifies it as eligible for a 10 cent refund. There is no prescribed copy to be used, but the most common wording is:


The label must be made of recyclable material and must be of a colour and size that ensures the statement is clear and legible.

I want to transfer a Container Approval from/to another initiative manufacturer?

If you are no longer the appropriate contact to hold the Container Approval for a beverage product, you can apply to have the approval transferred. Please contact who will provide you with the application form.

What is my product’s registration number?

The barcode of the container is generally used as its unique identifier. You can search for your products on COEX’s product look-up function.

How do I register my products?

To register your containers in Queensland, please apply through the COEX Business Partner Portal, even if your container is already registered interstate.

Once an application is submitted through the Portal, COEX will review your application and send it to the relevant Queensland Government department for approval. Containers will only be approved if:

  • a Container Recovery Agreement is in place,
  • the container is filled with an eligible beverage type and of eligible volume,
  • the container and label are suitable to be recycled,
  • the container has a refund mark on it,
  • the container has a barcode, and
  • approval has not been refused in another jurisdiction.
What is my member number?

Your member number (AKA scheme ID) is your unique identifier and can be provided to suppliers, distributors and retailers to confirm you have a Container Recovery Agreement in place with COEX. Please note this number is for Queensland only, it does not apply to the Western Australian Containers for Change.

To find your member number, you can log into the COEX Business Partner Portal and look for your QM number that will have eight digits (e.g. QM12345678).

I made a mistake in my product registration, how do I edit it?

Currently there is no self-service feature in the Portal, but please email and let them know what details need to be amended.

I have an agreement in place, where do I register my products and report my volumes?

Once registered with COEX, nominated portal users will receive an activation email to log in to the COEX Business Partner Portal. This is where you:

  1. register the barcodes of all beverage products you sell in Queensland, and
  2. report to COEX the number of eligible beverage products you have sold in Queensland in each calendar month.
What do I need to do as a beverage manufacturer?

As a beverage manufacturer under the Queensland container refund initiative, you must:

  1. have a Container Recovery Agreement with Container Exchange,
  2. register your eligible products on the Container Exchange Register of Approved Containers,
  3. report the number of beverage products sold into Queensland in each calendar month, and
  4. make initiative contributions (on a per unit sold basis).
What agreements do I need before I can sell in Queensland?

If you sell eligible beverage products in Queensland, you must enter into a Container Recovery Agreement (CRA) with COEX. The CRA includes all the provisions relating to reporting sales volumes, invoicing and payments.

You can begin the registration process here. COEX will review your application, request further documents if necessary, and then issue an agreement for your review and execution. The entire process takes about 2-3 weeks, so please allow enough lead time before your products hit the market.

Please note, you will need to disable the pop-up blocker on your browser before registering.

Where do my initiative contributions go?

Your initiative contributions go towards the cost of the 10-cent refund amounts paid for containers and the cost of administering the initiative. The administration of the scheme includes all 360+ container refund points, and logistics, processing and recycling services that have seen over three billion containers collected and 800 jobs created across Queensland. Thanks to the contributions from beverage manufacturers, Containers for Change has already seen over a 50% reduction of beverage containers in the litter stream.

Will the initiative price change over time?

Yes, the initiative price will change over time as it is dependent on the initiative’s redemption rates. However, COEX is committed to several of cost-saving initiatives to maintain a stable and low scheme price for the beverage industry and customers.

We review the initiative price bi-annually but have only increased the price twice in the first two and a half years of operation. Any changes to the initiative price are done with 16 weeks’ notice and take effect on 1 February and 1 August each year – to align with alcohol excise duty changes.

What is the cost for me as a beverage manufacturer?

The contribution per container (initiative price) is dependent on the material type of the containers you sell. The cost per type can be seen below; all prices are in cents per container and are GST exclusive.

Your initiative contribution = no. of eligible beverage products sold in Queensland x initiativeprice of material type inc. GST.

Can I opt out of the initiative?

No, you cannot opt out. The business who first supplies eligible beverage products into Queensland is required by legislation to fund the initiative.

It is an offence in Queensland to sell an eligible beverage product without entering into an agreement with COEX and without it being registered with COEX.

I engage a third party to manufacture a beverage product for me, which of us need to contribute?

This depends on the commercial arrangement. If a third party sells the beverage product to you (i.e. there is a transfer of title in that product in Queensland), then they are the seller and must report the sale. If the third party never owns the beverage product but is providing a service and/or working under license, then there may be no transfer of title when the final products are delivered to you. In that case, the first transfer of title of the product in Queensland is when you sell the beverage products down the supply chain for the first time.

Am I considered a beverage manufacturer under the initiative? Do I need to contribute?

The Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 defines a beverage manufacturer as the party who effects the first transfer of title of a beverage product in Queensland. This can be the manufacturer, the importer, distributor or even the retailer depending on the supply chain for the product.

If you are considered a beverage manufacturer you are obligated to contribute to the cost of collecting, sorting and recycling your empty beverage containers.

If you are not the first supplier in Queensland (i.e. you are second, third or fourth in the Queensland supply chain), then you are not required to make initiative contributions on that product. However, even if you’re not the first supplier, you are still required to make sure the product is registered by the first supplier – you can use COEX’s barcode search tool to check that it is registered.

How is the container refund initiative (CRS) funded?

The Queensland CRS, Containers for Change, is a product stewardship initiative meaning beverage manufacturers who supply eligible beverage products in Queensland take responsibility for reducing the environmental impact of their containers by funding the initiative.

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