1 Billion Containers And Counting

Over 1 Billion containers have been returned through NSW Return and Earn, and an entire year in, that is an enormous effort across the board. Every one of the 1 Billion containers that have been collected have been prevented from entering the litter stream or landfill. Well done NSW, it’s an awesome achievement.

The 1 billionth container was returned at 5.50pm on Sunday 2nd December. And the figures 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
  • Most drink containers processed in a day: 5.6 million on Sunday November 11

What do 1 Billion containers look like?

If you laid out the containers end to end, they could reach 146,000 km in distance -that’s enough to:

  • Travel from Sydney to Wagga Wagga 384 times
  • Take 99 return trips between Sydney and Brisbane
  • Go from Sydney to Rome 9 times
  • Travel the perimeter of Australia 4 times
  • Sail the Sydney to Hobart 124 times
  • Ride the Tour de France 41 times
  • … or fly 37% of the way to The Moon

The recycling of 1 Billion containers is equivalent to:

  • 106 Million Gigajoules in energy saved
  • 8 Million tonnes of CO2 removed from the atmosphere
  • Planting 12 Million trees
  • Taking 2.1 Million cars off the road
  • Saving 27 Million months of household energy use


*Note: All statistics in this article are based on averages and are close estimates.