Bottle Bill Resource Guide

The Northern Territory's Environment Protection Act was passed in February 2011. The territory government is still working to implement its component Cash for Containers system, which will commence January 3, 2012.

In short, the law will ban the sale of single-use plastic bags and put a 10¢ deposit on most beverage containers.

For up-to-date information on the implementation process, visit the NT Environmental Protection Agency site set up by the territory government. 

Law Name Environment Protection (Beverage Containers and Plastic Bags) Act 2011.
Date Implemented 2012 (Updated in 2014)
Beverages Covered Flavored milks and fruit juices (less than 1L);
Vitamin drinks, Soft drinks, Water – still and sparkling, Sport drinks, Iced teas, Beer / ales / stouts / cider, Alcoholic sodas, Spirit-based beverages, Some wine-based beverages (up to 3L)
Containers Covered

All approved containers of the size and contents listed above

Amount of Deposit


Reclamation System Approved Collection Depots
Handling Fee Collection depots may be compensated for "reasonable costs" related to handling the containers by the CDS coordinator to whom they deliver the container.
Other Fees


Unredeemed Deposits Remains with producer/filler
Program Success


  • Total return rate: 48%
  • Aluminum: 52%
  • Liquid Paperboard: 39%
  • Glass: 57%
  • PET: 33%
  • HDPE: 28%
  • Steel: 1%
  • Other: 0%



Under the Northern Territory legislation, every container sold in the territory must be included in a Waste Management Agreement in accordance with the CDS coordinator guidelines [PDF]. These principles, which are deliberately designed to be as flexible as possible while encouraging the system's success, are established by the Minister of the Environment, separately from the legislation.

Shortly before the legislation came into effect, the Northern Territory signed an agreement with neighboring state South Australia, the first and only other Australian state to have a container deposit law. According to a 2011 press release [PDF], "The agreement is a commitment to work towards aligning their container deposit schemes with a view to allow people to get a refund on drink containers bought in either jurisdiction." The agreement also addresses the issues of minimizing border fraud and increasing recovery and recycling while reducing litter.

The legislation enacting the deposit law also included a ban on single-use plastic bags.