Bottle Bill Resource Guide

Law Summary

Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Amendment (Container Deposit Scheme) Act (Part 5 of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001) [1]

Date Implemented Passed 11/17/2016; implemented 12/1/2017
Containers Covered

Beverages that are  ≥150mL and ≤3L of the following materials:

  • PET
  • HDPE
  • Glass
  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Liquid paperboard

Containers should be returned empty, uncrushed, unbroken and with the original label attached. [2]

Beverages and Containers Not Covered
  • Plain milk (or milk substitute) containers
  • Flavored milk containers ≥1L
  • 90% or more fruit or vegetable juice containers ≥1L
  • Glass containers for wine and spirits
  • Wine in casks ≥1L
  • Water in casks ≥1L
  • Sachets for wine ≥250mL
  • Cordials
  • Concentrated fruit/vegetable juices
  • Registered health tonics
Amount of Deposit

10¢ AUD

Reclamation System

The collection point network is made up of several types of return points including Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs), Automated Depots, Over the Counter (OTC) and Donation Stations. As of June 2021, there are 336 RVMs, 28 Automated Depots, 234 OTC locations, and 22 Donation Stations. [3]

The network operator, TOMRA Cleanaway, is responsible for setting up and maintaining the collection point network in accordance with the community access targets set by the NSW Government. [4]

Handling Fee N/A
Other Fees

Suppliers must make a contribution fee by material type based on a fixed pricing model: [5]


Unredeemed Deposits Remains with the industry.
Program Success

System Results:

  2017-2018 [6]
2018-2019 [7]
2019-2020 [8]
2020-2021 [9]
Glass  74% 75% 78%  76%
Aluminum  49% 63% 70%  71%
PET  48% 55% 62% 64%
HDPE  34% 41% 47%  45%
Liquid Paperboard  5% 13% 18%  19%
Steel  14% 25% 32%  35%
Other Plastics  1% 4% 7%  6%
Other Materials  30% 79% 31%  16%
Overall/Total Material Rate  53% 61% 67%  67%




The Return and Earn container deposit scheme is a NSW Government initiative, funded by contributions from the beverage industry, that aims to reduce beverage container litter in the environment. It offers a 10¢ refund to consumers, incentivizing them to hold onto their eligible containers or pick up littered containers left behind by others, for depositing at return points across NSW.

The program began in December 2017. The scheme coordinator is Exchange for Change while the network operator is TOMRA Cleanaway, in coordination with the NSW government. [10]

Consumers can participate in the Return and Earn initiative 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 organizations for them to redeem and claim the refund.
  3. Eligible containers can continue to be placed in the curbside system, alongside ineligible containers. [11]

cds infographic

Since the program's inception, the system administrator, Return and Earn, reported that over 7.8 billion containers have been returned by consumers, the equivalent of $780 million in container refunds (as of August 2022). [12]



[1] Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2001 pt 5, Container Deposit Scheme. (NSW)

[2]"Return and Earn." NSW Environmental Protection Agency, last updated November 15, 2021.

[3] "2020-2021 NSW CDS (Return and Earn) Annual Statutory Report." Exchange for Change. 2021.

[4] "How Return and Earn is structured." Exchange for Change.

[5] "Pricing." Exchange for Change. Last accessed October 2023.

[6] "2017-18 NSW CDS (Return and Earn) Annual Statutory Report." Exchange for Change. 2018.

[7] "2018-19 NSW CDS (Return and Earn) Annual Statutory Report." Exchange for Change. 2019.

[8] "2019-2020 NSW CDS (Return and Earn) Annual Statutory Report." Exchange for Change. 2020.

[9] "2020-2021 NSW CDS (Return and Earn) Annual Statutory Report." Exchange for Change. 2021.

[10] "Participants in the schemes." Exchange for Change. Last accessed August 2022.

[11] See Footnote 2.

[12] See Footnote 9.


Last updated on October 9, 2023.

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More Info - New South Wales

Contact - New South Wales

Return and Earn

P: 1 (800) 290-691

New South Wales Environment Protection Agency (EPA)

Geoff Isaac (Senior Team Leader at Office of Environment and Heritage)

E: [email protected]