Anti-Litter Launch

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Grocery giant Woolworths is Australia’s first retail partner in a state-wide initiative aimed at slashing litter and promoting recycling.

COVERED. learned more about the Return and Earn Container Deposit Scheme, the largest rubbish reduction scheme in NSW.

The scheme, to be launched in December, aims to cut the State’s litter volume by 40 per cent by 2020 through Reverse Vending Machine kiosks located throughout the state. Woolworths will provide up to 180 of the 500 collections points within metro and regional NSW.

Customers can return eligible beverage containers, including plastic water bottles, aluminium cans and glass bottles, in exchange for a 10-cent refund.

The kiosks will be integrated into the grocery shopping experience, making recycling convenient for the users who get an instant reward. They can choose to donate their refund directly to selected charities, transfer to their bank account or receive store credit for selected Woolworths stores.

Consumers go through 1.8 trillion beverage containers every year and it makes up 44 per cent of all litter in NSW. However, it is not just the consumers who are being called to action through Return and Earn with the NSW Government implementing strict beverage supplier obligations.

To comply with the new legislation, beverage suppliers must have a supplier agreement, register their containers with the NSW Environment Protection Authority and contribute a fee toward the scheme.

Strong support for accountability is being embraced by industry leaders Coopers and Coca-Cola Amatil, who will act as Scheme Coordinators as part of joint venture, Exchange for Change. TOMRA Cleanaway, pioneers of reverse vending machine technology, will be the Network Operator.

Specific locations of reverse vending machines are being finalised and will be announced to the public at the start of December. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to continue recycling within their household and community.

“We want this scheme to be a success and for all stakeholders to have a voice. We will be working to the highest levels of integrity to help deliver the government’s littering targets while running a cost-effective scheme,” says Peter Bruce, CEO Exchange for Change.

Words By: Amber McDonald