Return and Earn huge success a year on

People lined up to use the Queanbeyan Return and Earn.
People lined up to use the Queanbeyan Return and Earn.

Return and Earn is just one year old, but statewide the program has collected nearly a billion drink containers, leading to a record reduction in litter volume across NSW and a massive environmental gain. The Queanbeyan station alone has collected 8.7 million containers.

NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said Return and Earn has been an outstanding success and changed the way people dispose of empty drink containers.

"Before Return and Earn, many drink bottles and cans became litter and only a third were being recycled through yellow lidded bins.

"Now the trend is reversed: far more are recycled than are littered and the state is a cleaner place," Ms Upton said.

The figures for Return and Earn’s first year 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
  • Drink containers being processed each week: 26 million
  • The record for most drink containers processed in a day: 5.6 million on Sunday, November 11