QLD Container Refund Scheme

Containers for Change

Queensland consumes approximately three billion beverage containers every year, with a high percentage finding their way into the environment or landfill.

Since 1 November 2018, Containers for Change Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme will help clean up our state. Containers for Change aims to increase recycling rates and reduce litter by allowing Queenslanders to exchange eligible drink containers for a 10-cent refund.


Who is Container Exchange?

Container Exchange (COEX) was founded to apply for the role of the Product Responsibility Organisation under the Queensland Container Refund Scheme.

COEX is a not-for-profit organisation that is solely focused on achieving the aims of the CRS – reducing beverage container litter, increasing recycling efforts and working to provide benefits to social enterprises and community groups.

To demonstrate the beverage industry’s commitment to the Container Refund Scheme’s objectives, representatives from the beverage industry have been appointed to the nine-member Container Exchange Board.

COEX aims to achieve the following container recovery rates by 1 July 2020: Container Refund Points – 46%, Material Recovery Facilities – 24%, and in total – 70%.

The overarching aim for COEX is to raise beverage container recycling recovery rates to 85% by 2022.


How does the scheme work?

To take part in the scheme and receive your refund by electronic funds transfer (EFT), you need to create a Scheme Account. Some Container Refund Points will offer cash refunds or vouchers and will not require a scheme ID.

Otherwise, cash will be offered at certain Container Refund Points, please visit containersforchange.com.au.

You can also choose to donate your refunded payments to Queensland community groups or charities registered as Donation Points under the scheme. This may be done by using the Donation Point’s unique identifier at any Container Refund Point or by returning eligible containers to the Donation Point’s physical address.

Please visit the Containers for Change website to create your Scheme Account and find your local refund point.


What containers can I return for a refund?

Eligible containers

Most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard beverage containers between 150ml and three litres are eligible for a refund.

Returned containers must be empty and have the lids removed. Slightly crushed containers are acceptable – however, no broken glass will be eligible.

Beverage manufacturers are required to display a refund mark on their containers by 1 December 2019, which will identify eligible containers.

Excluded containers

Containers for cordial, plain milk, wine and pure spirits are excluded from the scheme. This includes containers filled with one litre or more of flavoured milk, pure fruit or vegetable juice, cask wine, or cask water.  The initial scheme focus is on those beverages that are consumed out of the home.

Although not all containers are eligible for the scheme, all recyclable material can still be recycled in your local kerbside recycling bin.

Please visit the Containers for Change website for more information.


Where can I return eligible containers?

COEX has established more than 230 Container Refund Points in metropolitan and regional Queensland.

You can locate your local Container Refund Point on the Containers for Change website.

Five types of Container Refund Points have been established, including depots, drop-offs, Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs), mobile and pop-ups, and Donation Points.



Over-the-counter depots may not be able to count your containers immediately and provide your refund in cash or to your Scheme Account (EFT), depending on the volume of containers you are returning. You can also choose to ‘virtually’ donate to a Donation Point (or a not-for-profit organisation registered as a Donation Point) using their unique identifier code.



Drop-offs are the most convenient way to receive a refund – simply bag it, tag it, drop it.

Bag it: Place your containers in a bag. Your local Container Refund Point may provide this or you can use your own. Please note that single-use plastic bags will not be accepted.

Tag it: Tag your bag of containers with a label containing your Scheme Account ID or the Donation Point’s unique identifier. This can be printed at the drop-off site.

Drop it: Drop the filled bags at your local drop-off point. The containers will be counted later and the refund will be transferred into your Scheme Account or Donation Point.


Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs)

At RVMs, you can insert your containers and enter your Scheme ID or a Donation Point’s scheme ID to have the refund transferred via EFT. Please note that only uncrushed cans, plastic bottles and liquid paperboard containers can be returned at RVMs.


Mobile and pop-ups

Mobile Container Refund Points controlled by depot operators will provide a scheduled service for customers and Donation Points to return their containers for change. Mobile Container Refund Points will typically be a trailer with a cage which can be parked at regional locations for events or functions as a Donation Point – for example, at a school fete.


Donation Points

Queenslanders can ‘virtually’ donate to the charity or community group of their choice from anywhere in Queensland. Once registered as a Donation Point, community groups will receive a scheme ID. Queenslanders can donate their eligible containers to the Donation Point using the scheme ID at any depot, drop-off, mobile CRP or RVM in the state.

Charities and community groups may also choose to set up a physical Donation Point where Queenslanders can give their containers straight to the Donation Point. The charity or community group will then be responsible for cashing in the containers collected on their site. Donation Points may want to reach out to their local Container Refund Point operator to see if collection can be arranged if they are collecting containers in bulk. Queensland Government grant applications are now open to assist Physical Donation Points with funding for infrastructure. To apply before Friday 25 January 2019, please visit here.

To register your organisation as a Donation Point, please visit here.