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New South Wales Have Collected their One Billionth Container!

Almost exactly one year after its launch date, Return and Earn can celebrate the collection of its one billionth container.

05 December 2018

On December 1st, 2017, Return and Earn was rolled out across New South Wales (NSW), Australia, in a bid to increase the state’s recycling rates. Through the scheme recyclers can cash in their eligible drink containers for a 10-cent refund, from day one the scheme has had an enormous impact.

The 1 billionth container was returned at 5.50pm on Sunday 2nd December and was the result of an enormous effort across the board. Every one of the containers collected has been prevented from entering the litter stream or landfill.

The figures speak for themselves:

  • Eligible drink containers collected and recycled: up by 69 per cent
  • Eligible drink container litter volume: down 44 per cent
  • NSW total litter volume: down 48 per cent since 2013
  • Drinks containers processed each week: 26 million
  • Most drink containers processed in a day: 5.6 million on Sunday November 11

What do 1 billion containers look like?

If you laid out the containers end-to-end, they could reach 146,000 km in distance -that’s enough to:

  • Travel from Paris to Moscow 51 times
  • Go from Sydney to Rome 9 times
  • Travel the perimeter of Australia 4 times
  • Ride the Tour de France 41 times
  • … or fly 37% of the way to the Moon

The recycling of 1 billion containers is equivalent to:

  • 106 million gigajoules of energy saved
  • 8 million tonnes of CO2 removed from the atmosphere
  • Planting 12 million trees
  • Taking 2.1 million cars off the road
  • Saving 27 million months of household energy use

This also marks the one year anniversary of TOMRA’s recycling app, myTOMRA, which was launched simultaneously to the Return and Earn scheme. The world’s first recycling app, myTOMRA has experienced similar success in the last year. The app became the top 10 most downloaded in just two months, and has been downloaded 242 000 times in the past year. 12% of all containers recycled with Return and Earn have been through myTOMRA and Australians have transferred over 9,9 million AUD to their PayPal accounts. For more information

About TOMRA Collection Solutions:

Founded in 1972, TOMRA is the preferred partner for reverse vending solutions for collecting, reusing and recycling cans and bottles. The TOMRA system has the machines, digital solutions and service to make recycling easy for the industry, system owners, retailers and consumers. With over 82,000 installations across more than 60 markets, TOMRA’s reverse vending machines capture 35 billion used beverage containers every year – reducing reliance on raw materials and ensuring fewer containers end up in landfills, oceans and streets. Visit our Reverse Vending pages on, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

TOMRA Collection Solutions is part of the TOMRA Group, which creates sensor-based solutions for optimal resource productivity, and has a vision to lead the Resource Revolution. The Group employs approximately 3,550 people globally and is publicly listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE: TOM).