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What is the Container Deposit Scheme

The Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) is an initiative aimed at promoting recycling, reducing litter and reinforcing product stewardship in Australia. The purpose of the CDS is to incentivise consumers to return their empty beverage containers for recycling - rather than disposing of them in general waste bins – to receive a small refund.

Similar programs operate in various states and may be referred to as ‘Return-It’ or ‘Container Return Schemes’. In VIC, the CDS will commence 1 November 2023.

How do container deposit schemes work?

Eligible beverage containers are used and returned for a 10-cent refund. Individuals will need to take beverage containers to specific collection locations for their 10-cent refund.

aluminium cans

Aluminium cans are eligible for a 10-cent refund under the Container Deposit Scheme.

Who pays for the CDS?

Beverage suppliers fund the 10 cents that is returned to individuals when they drop off their beverage containers.

What can be recycled?

Each state manages their own container deposit scheme. Find out what your State collects in the links below.

VIC - VIC's CDS will commence in November 2023. Read more here.

NSW - Check out 'Return and Earn' in partnership with NSW Government here.

QLD - Visit 'Containers for Change' for eligible containers here.

ACT - See ACT Container Deposit Scheme at

SA - Learn more from the SA EPA here.

NT - See Cash for Containers / Envirobank for eligible containers in NT here.

TAS - Recycle Rewards will be in operation soon. Find out more here.

The benefits of a Container Deposit Scheme

Container Deposit Schemes have a range of positive impacts.


These programs motivate people to properly dispose of their waste and reduce litter. Reducing litter means we have cleaner waterways and communities. Flora and fauna can thrive without additional pollution.

platypus in river


By increase recycling rates, less natural and virgin resources are required.

soft drink bottles from recycled material

Some soft drink bottles are made from recycled bottles.

Local economy

Recycling facilities and collection centres creates job opportunities for locals.

CDS in Victoria

Local communities

Local communities can gain additional donations and funding through collecting eligible containers and using returns to contribute to their social or environmental groups.

community groups collecting for CDS


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