How to Improve the Qld Refund Scheme

New data on the operation of the 10cent container refund scheme (CRS) in Qld points the way to improving the convenience for households and access to their refunds.

“There are four key elements – being open for more hours; more refund points; less travelling to get bags or QR codes; and more connected to retail so it becomes part of the weekly shop. A comparison to NSW starkly shows the weakness in the Qld system,” said Jeff Angel, Director of the Centre.

Metric

QLD

NSW

Population

5,071,000

7,544,000

Eligible Container Consumption

3BN

3.4BN

Contracted min number of collection points in Qld

307

450

Total number of claimed collection points in Qld*

322

635

Total number of F/T sites (>=35h/w) in Qld

217

551

Population to refund point (115) ratio in SEQ

39,000

12,306

Total open hours per week in Qld

16,065

46,405

         *CoEX are reducing this number in response to findings of our SEQ survey

“Making the CRS ‘a resounding success ‘ is about meeting the 85% return target by 2022 through a more accessible and convenient collection service. This won’t happen under current arrangements.’’

‘’It is particularly disturbing that the majority of the population which is in South East Qld has a very poor refund point allocation compared to NSW which has 50% more people than Qld - but double the number of refund points.’’

‘’We note that since the release of our report last week, that COEX denounced as ‘’wrong’’, they have been systematically removing collection points from their maps that we had identified as non-existent sites (ie they had no facilities before COVID19 restrictions). Their numbers are going backwards.”

‘’More over-the-counter depots and reverse vending machines (RVM) would be a big help. Our investigation identified these as working most effectively in SEQ.’’

‘’There are several operators with experience in Qld who can do this if COEX, the private scheme controller, allows it to happen. If they don’t then the public needs to know who is blocking it and call them to account,’’ Mr Angel said.

Total Environment Centre was established in 1972 and has undertaken over 100 state and national campaigns to protect the natural and urban environment.  It is independent and nonpartisan.  This research is not funded by any container refund operator.

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