Global reverse vending leader TOMRA Collection Solutions has been named as one of the container refund point operators for the upcoming container deposit scheme in Queensland, set to launch on November 1. The initiative will contribute to the state’s goal to increase the rate of recycling and reduce the impact of drink container litter in the natural environment, by incentivizing consumers to return their empty containers.
The Queensland container refund scheme was developed by scheme operator Container Exchange, made up of beverage industry representatives. Under the program, consumers will receive a 10-cent refund in exchange for eligible bottles and cans. Of approximately 300 total collection points across the state, TOMRA has accepted to operate 10 container refund points where consumers can return their used containers. TOMRA’s modern depots will be located in the greater Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba areas.
Each depot will be equipped with 9-12 TOMRA reverse vending machines, a bag-drop option and TOMRA’s Bulk Collection Systems to handle returns of large numbers of containers. The popular myTOMRA app will also provide opportunity for electronic payout of recycling refunds and details on depot locations and opening hours.
Container deposit locally and globally
TOMRA will build on its experience as the network operator for the successful New South Wales (NSW) Return and Earn container deposit scheme, in which its joint venture with Cleanaway provides over 675 refund points, including more than 1000 reverse vending machines. Launched on 1 December 2017, Return and Earn has seen more than 640 million containers returned by NSW recyclers. Prior to the NSW deposit return scheme, the recycling rate for containers through curbside collection was 33%, whereas Return and Earn achieved a 67% return rate in its first four months. This means an extra 196 million containers were recycled that would have otherwise ended up in the litter stream or landfill.
“We are proud to be a partner in the container refund scheme in Queensland, and look forward to building on our results and experience in Australia,” said Ryan Buzzell, President of TOMRA Collection Australia. “Giving containers a value shows that these items are not simply litter, but an important resource – making recycling personally relevant and rewarding for consumers.”
With over 82,000 installations across more than 60 markets, TOMRA’s reverse vending machines capture 35 billion used beverage containers every year across the globe. TOMRA is the reverse vending market leader in countries such as Germany and Norway, which hold the highest return rates for beverage containers in the world, at almost 100%. Lithuania, TOMRA’s most recent reverse vending roll-out prior to the Return and Earn container deposit system, recently announced achieving an impressive 91.9% return rate for all drink containers within the first two years of their scheme.