From 1 December 2017, you can receive a 10-cent refund when you return an eligible drink container for recycling to a Return and Earn collection point, such as a TOMRA reverse vending machine.
Return and Earn is a sustainability initiative by the NSW Government that will help to achieve a 40% reduction in the amount of litter across the state by 2020.
As part of the scheme, you can receive a refund for most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard beverage containers between 150ml and 3L. Do not crush your containers or remove the labels as the scanners will need to identify the shape, label and barcode to register your refund. After a period of transition, all eligible drink containers will have to display a refund marking that will make it easy to see which containers can be returned. This program targets containers that are likely to be consumed outside of the house.
A number of drink containers are not eligible for a refund under the scheme. These include:
- Plain milk containers
- Glass containers which have contained wine or pure spirits
- Large containers (1L or more) which have contained flavoured milk, pure juice, cask wine or cask water
- Cordial or vegetable juice containers
- Sachets above 250ml which have contained wine
- Registered health tonics
Containers that are smaller than 150mL or bigger than 3L will not be eligible for a refund. The ineligible containers will still be able to be recycled through your local kerbside bins.
To find out if your specific container is eligible, you can check out the Return and Earn Container Search. Search by barcode, brand and material type.
What is a reverse vending machine?
A reverse vending machine is an automated collection point where you can return your empty beverage containers like bottles and cans for recycling. The machine gives a 10 cent refund for every eligible container returned.
This is what makes it a “reverse” vending machine: instead of putting in money and getting out a product (like at a food vending machine), you put a product in and get out a monetary value.
How to use a reverse vending machine
- Insert your empty containers into the chute at the front of the reverse vending machine.
2. When you’re finished, select your preferred payout method on the screen:
Digital refund: Download the myTOMRA app and link it to PayPal, to transfer the refund to your account.
Retail refund: Take a printed voucher from the machine for a cash refund or a saving at participating retailers.
Donate your refund: Choose on the screen the charity or community fundraiser to donate your refund to.