Bottle Bill Resource Guide

Law Summary To help meet the Premier’s goal of reducing the volume of litter in NSW by 40 per cent by 2020 the NSW Government is introducing a refund container deposit scheme (CDS).
Under the scheme, anyone who returns an empty eligible beverage container to an approved NSW collection depot or reverse vending machine will be eligible for a 10-cent refund. A network of depots and reverse vending machines will open across NSW to receive the empty containers.
Date Implemented December 1, 2017
Containers Covered All NSW beverage containers between 150ml and 3 litres in volume will be eligible for a refund
Beverages Not Covered
  • plain milk (or milk substitute) containers
  • flavoured milk containers 1 litre or more
  • pure fruit or vegetable juice containers 1 litre or more
  • glass containers for wine and spirits
  • casks (plastic bladders in boxes) for wine and casks for water – 1 litre or more
  • sachets for wine 250ml or more
  • containers for cordials, concentrated fruit/vegetable juices
  • registered health tonics.
Amount of Deposit


Reclamation System Return to collection depot sites
Handling Fee TBD
Other Fees


Unredeemed Deposits Remains with the industry.
Program Success

System Results (2018):




Reclamation system: 

From 1 December 2017, consumers can participate in Return and Earn in three ways

  1. Take eligible drink containers to collection points including reverse vending machines and claim the refund.
  2. Give eligible containers to charities, schools, sporting groups or other community organisations for them to redeem and claim the refund.
  3. Eligible containers can continue to be placed in the kerbside system, and kerbside recycling will continue to be important for containers that are typically consumed at home; some of which aren’t eligible for a refund within the NSW Container Deposit Scheme.[2]

cds infographic


1. "Two-year-old Return and Earn keeps delivering." Mirage News, NSW EPA. 03 December 2019.

2.  "How Return and Earn works." NSW Environmental Protection Agency, last updated 02 May 2018.

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Geoff Isaac, Senior Team Leader at Office of Environment and Heritage: