TOMRA congratulates the Tasmanian Government on backing the best possible Container Refund Scheme for Tasmania. The split-responsibility model Minister Jaensch and the Gutwein Government have endorsed is a big win for the environment, the community and the economy. 

    2. What is a Container Refund Scheme?
    3. How do Container Refund Schemes Work?
    4. What Items Are Eligible?


    4 February 2021: The Tasmanian Government has just announced what Tasmania’s new Container Refund Scheme (CRS) will look like. The CRS, set to commence in 2022, will help tackle litter, increase recycling and generate a variety of jobs for locals at a time when the economy has been seriously impacted.

    TOMRA Collection Solutions, scheme technology provider and operator in NSW, QLD, NT and WA, congratulate Minister Jaensch and the Gutwein Government on endorsing the new split-responsibility model.

    Ryan Buzzell, President of TOMRA Collection Solutions Pacific, said: “This split-responsibility model is a proven way of boosting recycling, reducing litter and creating new jobs in the circular economy.”

    “Delivering this scheme design will also provide fantastic fundraising opportunities for Tassie charities, community groups and local sporting clubs.”

    The split responsibility model Tasmania is committed to legislating ahead of 2022 incentivizes an independent network operator to achieve the highest return rates possible, meaning more material is secured for reprocessing and less litter ends up in landfill or waterways.

    A network operator driven to service every part of the state, will also bring important jobs to communities right across Tasmania and enable fundraising opportunities for sporting clubs, community groups and charities large and small.

    “The split responsibility design maximises recycling by maximising convenience for consumers, that’s the key” says Markus Fraval, TOMRA’s Head of Business Development.

    “The best-performing systems around the world work with retail locations to make recycling part of people’s everyday routine. Locating RVMs in shopping centres or supermarket carparks means that instead of requiring a separate, dedicated trip to an out-of-the-way depot to return your containers, you can simply drop off your empty bottles and cans on your way into the shops.”

    Fraval says: “Throughout the design process, the Tasmanian Government have shown an impressive commitment to a convenient, best-practice CRS.”

    “Minister Jaensch has focused on boosting recycling, creating jobs and helping the community and today’s announcement clearly reflects that.”

    What is a Container Refund Scheme?

    A Container Refund Scheme, or CRS for short, incentivises the community for recycling their used beverage containers, giving a 10c refund for every eligible container returned to the scheme. NSW, QLD, WA, SA, ACT, and NT all have an existing CDS, with Victoria introducing their scheme in 2023.

    How do Container Refund Schemes Work?

    Container refund schemes work by adding a small extra deposit on top of the price of a beverage – such as those in plastic and glass bottles and aluminium cans – which is refunded to the consumer when they return the empty drink container for recycling. This is typically established through legislation passed by state or national governments. When the consumer purchases the beverage, they pay the additional deposit on the container. Once they have finished with their beverage, the consumer returns the container to receive their deposit back.

    Container refund schemes for non-refillable beverage containers have been around for several decades, and those for refillable containers for centuries, with early inceptions, used particularly for glass collection. Today, these schemes are in place in many countries across the world and have proven the best approach in reducing litter and increasing recycling rates of beverage containers.

    Container refund schemes work for 3 main reasons:

    Litter prevention – Traditionally waste has no value to the individual. And while there are many places to dispose of waste responsibly, it is reliant on the individual to do the right thing. Many do, but some don’t. By adding a clear reward, it signals to people to take their waste to the right place.
    Litter pickup –  We walk by rubbish all the time, and in many cases, we assume it’s someone else’s responsibility. By adding a deposit to the container, someone walking by is likely to acknowledge it’s value and pick it up.
    Effective Recycling – By effectively capturing and sorting containers, they are in a much better position to be re-used or recycled and are less at risk of contamination.

    What items are eligible?

    The Tasmanian Government has yet to announce the details of which containers are eligible, however, it is likely that the conditions will be similar to NSW, WA, and QLD. Typically, drink containers made of plastic, glass, aluminium and liquid paperboard that are 150ml – 3L will be eligible, including:

    • soft drink cans and bottles;
    • bottled waters – both plastic and glass;
    • small flavoured milk drinks;
    • beer and cider cans and bottles; and
    • sports drinks and spirit-based mixed drinks.

    Containers that are unlikely to be part of the scheme include:

    • plain milk (or milk substitute) containers;
    • flavoured milk containers of one litre or more;
    • pure fruit or vegetable juice containers of one litre or more;
    • glass containers for wine and spirits;
    • casks (plastic bladders in boxes) for wine and casks for water – one litre or more;
    • sachets for wine of 250 millilitres or more;
    • containers for cordials, concentrated fruit/vegetable juices; and
    • registered health tonics.

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