Victorian Container Deposit Scheme launches

Thursday, 02 November, 2023

Victorian Container Deposit Scheme launches

Across its Victorian stores, Coles has rolled out 47 Reverse Vending Machines as the state launches its Container Deposit Scheme.

The scheme allows Victorians to earn a 10-cent refund when they return any eligible can, bottle or carton, such as single-serve flavoured milk and fruit juice.

Tetra Pak, packaging solutions provider, has welcomed the introduction of the scheme, which is set to improve recycling outcomes, reduce waste and empower Victorians to contribute towards Australia’s circular economy.

Leanne White, Coles General Manager Grocery, said the scheme is an excellent way to reward customers for recycling.

“Now, Victorian customers can be rewarded for returning their used cans, bottles and cartons, with the option to put the funds towards their next shop at Coles, redeem for cash, give to a charity, or add it straight into their bank account,” White said.

Tetra Pak believes that by incentivising consumers to return most cartons, the scheme will see an increase in local supplies of post-consumer recycled materials. These materials represent a valuable commodity that can be put to good use in the creation of new packaging, products and building materials.

The Victorian Government appointed TOMRA Cleanaway to establish refund points across the west of Victoria and western suburbs of Melbourne. According to TOMRA Cleanaway CEO James Dorney, the machines can hold up to 10,000 cartons, cans or bottles.

Beverage cartons returned via the scheme will be accepted and processed at saveBOARD, a local facility which turns recycled cartons into low-carbon construction materials. The site opened in February and has the capacity to process up to 4000 tonnes of materials annually.

“The scheme will play an important role in providing a consistent and reliable source of beverage cartons for the saveBOARD recycling facilities. Ultimately this will lead to better environmental outcomes across Victoria. Cartons are already a beverage packaging choice with one of the lowest carbon footprints on the market. We’re pleased that more of our beverage cartons will now be recycled and contribute positively toward the circular economy,” said Boris Munster, Tetra Pak Oceania Managing Director.

At the completion of Coles’ Victorian rollout, it will have a total of 139 container collection points at or near its stores across the country.

Last financial year, more than 200 million drink containers, cans, cartons and bottles were returned to Coles-linked sites. Since the retailer started supporting the various state-based schemes in 2018, over a billion containers have been returned to Coles-linked sites.

To further enhance the impact of container deposit schemes, Tetra Pak has encouraged state and territory governments throughout Australia to consider the inclusion of all cartons, irrespective of size or contents to achieve high recycling rates and ease consumer confusion.

Image caption: Markus Fravel –TOMRA Cleanaway Director, Dave Evans – Coles Business Category Manager Beverages, Brooke Donnelly Coles GM Sustainability and James Dorney – TOMRA Cleanaway CEO. Image courtesy of Coles.

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