The Queensland Government has announced plans to “gauge the community’s views” on expanding the state’s Containers for Change program to include glass wine and spirits bottles.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday announced the plans to investigate expanding the scheme, which has already seen more than 5.5 billion containers recycled through refund points and $540 million in refunds issued since it was launched in 2018.

“Queenslanders have cashed in on containers for change,” the Premier said.

“It’s stopped billions of containers from ending up in our waterways and environment, thrown millions of dollars behind local groups and supported upwards of 800 good jobs at 359 facilities across the state.”

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said before the Palaszczuk Government introduced containers for change, only 18 per cent of beverage containers were recovered and recycled.

“Today, that number has grown threefold to 65 per cent,” the Minister said.

“It’s a huge achievement, but there’s still more to do.

“Currently, the containers for change program accepts most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard beverage containers between 150ml and 3L.

“Making more containers eligible for refunds makes it easier for people to recycle, particularly in more regional and remote communities where they mightn’t have a recycling bin.

“From the perspective of Queensland’s fast-growing recycling industry, it also means beverage containers can be sorted and manufactured into new products quicker.

“Of course we want to make sure that any decision to expand the scheme to include wine and spirit bottles is one that is backed by the community, so we’ll be going out next month to Queenslanders to get their feedback.”

Minister Scanlon said in addition to community consultation, a discussion paper would also be released for industry to give feedback on.

“Through that process we’ll be able to determine not only how Queenslanders want the scheme to be expanded but also when we can roll it out, and how it’ll fit in seamlessly with the current program,” Minister Scanlon said.

“We want to see any expansion happen as soon as possible, but there will be a lot of work that’ll need to happen behind the scenes to make it happen.”

Consultation is expected to launch in December and run through to February 2023.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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