You should only begin collecting your beverage containers once the Scheme has started. In the meantime, we encourage consumers not to ‘stockpile’ containers and to continue to recycle as normal in their yellow lidded kerbside bin, or public recycling bins, until the scheme starts.
Why has commencement been delayed?
NRE Tas has received many enquiries regarding the commencement date of the scheme. We acknowledge that the scheme will commence later than previously anticipated but we cannot be specific about the commencement at this current time. Many details about Recycle Rewards, including the commencement date, will be announced once the governing bodies have been selected and contracts are finalised. To ensure this important scheme is accessible, affordable and maximises the return of eligible containers for recycling, we need to ensure its framework is as robust as possible.
We appreciate the patience of the Tasmanian community.
What is a split-responsibility model and how does it work?
The Tasmanian Government has selected a split-responsibility governance model for the CRS. Split-responsibility means that the Scheme Coordinator will run the administration and finance for the scheme and the Network Operator manages the network of Refund Points across Tasmania. The Scheme Coordinator and Network Operator will be appointed through a competitive public tender process. The split responsibility model is already operating in NSW, the ACT and Victoria.
What do I have to do?
When the scheme starts, you can take an empty beverage container that is eligible for the refund to a designated Refund Point. These will be located right around Tasmania, for example in supermarkets, shopping centres and at local retail shops.
The details of the refund payment method will be finalised soon. Schemes in other states use cash refunds, refunds directly to credit card, debit card, bank deposit or PayPal account, vouchers for participating retailers, and donations directly to a charity of choice.
How can community groups participate in the Scheme?
The Tasmanian Government is dedicated to ensuring that interested charities, community groups, and sporting clubs around Tasmania will be able to benefit from the CRS.
Donation Point – where local community members can drop off their containers, so that the charity or community group operating the Donation Point can take the containers to a Refund Point to claim the refund.
Financial Donations at Refund Points – where container refunds can be donated directly to charity and community groups. Charity and community groups can register for a Refund Account, which allows people at a Refund Point to donate their refund to any Refund Account.
Contract to the Network Operator to run a Refund Point and receive handling fees – the 10c refund is then paid out to the customer or their nominated charity. The Network Operator provides support such as administrative tools and transport.
This ensures that charities and community groups have many opportunities to be part of the scheme, and to benefit from it.
What kind of jobs will the Scheme create?
The recycling industry is worth billions of dollars to the Australian economy and creates far more jobs than if we were to send that recyclable material to landfill. In other states, hundreds of new, sustainable jobs have been created through the development of Container Refund Schemes.
There will be jobs created in Tasmania as well. For example, contracts will be made with a Scheme Coordinator to run the finance and administration of the Scheme, and a Network Operator to run the network of container Refund Points. Other businesses can be engaged by applying to be a Refund Point, and there will be opportunities for local logistics. We also anticipate that jobs in the reuse and recycling industry will increase because there will be more materials recovered.
How will Tasmania's beverage industry be supported?
Tasmania’s small beverage industry has a key role to play in the success of Recycle Rewards. We know that sustainability, Tasmania’s clean brand, and a reputation for premium produce are important to our beverage industry’s future.
The Government has been working with small beverage companies to reduce the regulatory impact of the Scheme, while ensuring they are part of Recycle Rewards and part of our drive to reduce litter and increase recycling.
Tasmania has more than 90 small beverage companies, operating across the state, and their contribution to the economy, tourism and employment is highly valued. The small beverage sector has a key role to play in the scheme. The Government has been working with the industry to ensure it can continue to thrive.
Under ‘producer responsibility’ the beverage industry pays for the scheme, including refunds. But in Tasmania beverage companies will not pay for their first 20,000 beverage sales each year. This ‘cost-free threshold’ aims to help small beverage companies grow and thrive. It means 40 of our small beverage companies will not have to pay into the scheme. It means less administrative work and fewer invoices. And customers will still receive a refund for these containers.
Only drinks sold in containers are included. Kegs and refillable bottles (‘growlers’) are exempt.
Beverage containers must be approved for sale under, but all containers approved under the NSW scheme will be automatically approved here. That means less paperwork. And there will be no fee for registering containers in Tasmania.
There will be an ample transition period for CRS labelling rules (containers are required to carry a barcode and a refund message). These will be consistent with other states.
A grants program will help small Tasmanian companies with the cost of obtaining barcodes.
Small beverage companies will have the option of doing their paperwork - reporting sales and paying invoices - monthly or quarterly, whichever suits them.
Invoicing will be in arrears, which is what the beverage industry asked for. It will not be based on sales forecasts.
Thresholds for assistance Measures 4, 5 and 6 apply to companies with total annual production of scheme-eligible beverages (e.g. soft drink, juice, water, beer, cider, flavoured milk) of less than 250,000 litres. Other measures apply to all beverage companies.
Will the cost of beverages go up?
Like interstate schemes, Recycle Rewards will be funded by contributions from the beverage industry, and it is expected that they could pass on some or all those costs through to consumers. When NSW and Qld introduced their schemes, prices initially increased on average by less than 10 cents per drink container, so we will likely see price increases in Tasmania once the scheme starts.
Consumers in Tasmania will be able to return eligible containers to a Refund Point and receive 10 cents for every container.
I’ve heard the cost of a slab of beer will go up by $10, is this true?
No. Independent reviews of the first year of the Qld and NSW schemes found that price increases were less than 10 cents per drink container, so less than $2.40 for a slab. The Marsden Jacob report on a Tasmanian Container Refund Scheme found containers would likely increase by just under 10 cents in the first year of the Scheme, rising to 11 cents per container after six years. That is an increase of $2.64 for a slab – and the consumer gets $2.40 back for returning their containers. There are six schemes operating in Australia, and nowhere has a slab of beer increased by $10.
What will the refund amounts be?
The Container Refund Scheme, called Recycle Rewards, will see a refund of 10 cents for all eligible empty drink containers returned to designated Refund Points across Tasmania. This is consistent with other States.
Who will pay for the Scheme?
The beverage industry will fund the scheme, as it does in all mainland Schemes. This aligns with the concept of ‘extended producer responsibility’ that places primary responsibility on the producer, importer and sometimes the seller of the product. Under this approach, producers or importers are required to fund activities to reduce the environmental impacts of a product.
Which containers are included?
Like other schemes, ours will focus on beverage containers that most commonly contribute to litter in the first instance. For example, proposed eligible containers are typically those between 150ml and three litres:
cans (e.g. soft drink and beer)
bottles (both glass and PET)
cartons (e.g. flavoured milk) and
juice boxes or poppers.
At commencement of the scheme ineligible containers will include products such as:
Proposed container types are detailed in the draft Container Refund Scheme Regulations 2023 were open for public consulation from 2 May to 14 June 2023.
Why are some drink containers not included in the Container Refund Scheme, such as milk bottles?
As with other states, we intend to commence Recycle Rewards with a focus on beverage containers that most commonly make up the litter stream. Tasmania is actively engaging in discussions with other states about how the scope of eligible containers may expand over time.
At this stage, glass bottles for wine and spirits will not be eligible at the commencement of Recycle Rewards. This ensures harmonisation with interstate schemes. Currently, of the six CRSs operating interstate, none accept wine or spirit bottles. That said, Queensland recently announced that wine and spirits would be included in their CRS from November 2023, and all states and territories are currently discussing the inclusion of wine and spirits in CRSs.
Tasmania is playing an active role in ongoing discussions. We are committed to a consistent national approach and will consult with Tasmania’s wine and spirit makers prior to any decision.
How will you make sure these containers are recycled and not sent to landfill?
This scheme is all about recycling drink containers, not leaving them in the environment or in landfill. The containers are collected from Container Refund Points by the Network Operator and are taken to a sorting and processing facility. Here, beverage containers are sorted into types (glass, plastic, aluminium) and prepared to be processed for recycling and reuse.
All containers collected under the scheme must be recycled. There will be regular compliance audits to ensure containers are not being sent to landfill.
What about if I put the container in my yellow bin, do I get a refund?
No, people will only get a refund for eligible containers returned to designated Refund Points.
What are Refund Points and where will they be?
We want all Tasmanians to be able to participate in the scheme and get a refund for their containers, regardless of where they live.
The Government will implement minimum ‘community access standards’ for Recycle Rewards, setting out a minimum number of Refund Points together with other requirements to ensure comprehensive coverage right around Tasmania. We expect to see everything from large depot collection points and reverse vending machines in the major population centres, to over-the-counter Refund Points in small businesses.
There will be more Refund Points around the state than there are Service Tasmania outlets.
How can businesses be involved?
Businesses – both small and large – may seek to apply to operate a Refund Point with the Network Operator, once that appointment has been made. Hospitality businesses can collect and return containers to claim a refund. There may also be opportunities for logistics and transport services.
Can anyone be a Refund Point Operator?
As well as some basic business requirements, any prospective Refund Point Operator will need to have the capacity to hold and store volumes of containers, and to be open for a minimum number of hours on a set number of days. They will also likely need to be able to contract for a defined period of time.
Anyone who meets these requirements may seek to apply as a Refund Point; however the final determinations will be made by the Network Operator in consideration of the most effective Refund Point Network.