National Container Deposit Scheme

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson initiated a Senate Inquiry on 7th November 2012 to examine the connection between cash for container schemes and lower levels of marine plastic pollution. The inquiry also looked into serious allegations of beverage company misbehaviour - such as profiteering, price gouging and obstructionism.

Take action now, sign the petition calling on the Federal Environment Minister to implement a national container deposit scheme!

The South Australian cash for container scheme or 'container deposit program' has achieved up to an 84% recycling rate on all beverage containers consumed, the highest recycling rate in Australia.  South Australians are very proud of this achievement the Greens are confident a national scheme could be funded entirely from private investment, and run efficiently at a much lower cost than existing schemes.

A few big powerful companies in the beverage industry - especially Coca Cola and Lion - claim that such a national scheme would be too expensive and an inefficient way to clean up our nation's rubbish, and the environmental problems it causes. They have strongly lobbied state governments to prevent new schemes, and are also behind an aggressive national advertising campaign claiming that a national reward scheme for rubbish will strongly impact Australians' cost of living. 

The Greens' Environmental Protection (Beverage Container Deposit and Recovery Scheme) Bill will create a national scheme for recycling the 10 billion drinks containers Australians throw away each year through a 10c returnable deposit on all drink bottles, cans and cartons.

Some of the key benefits of the scheme include:
- Savings to rate payers of over $59.8 million a year
- Raising up to $90 million in government revenue
- Creating hundreds of green jobs
- Decreasing litter by 12-15%
- Increasing recycling of drink containers from 50% to 80%
- Diverting more than 740,000 tonnes from landfill
- Reducing national greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1.3 million 
tonnes of CO2 each year - the equivalent of switching 197,000 homes to
renewable energy
- Improving air quality to the equivalent of taking 140,000 cars off the roads

This is a fully costed plan to save taxpayer money, create new jobs and save the environment.

Victorian Green MLC Colleen Hartland has also introduced a Private Members Bill to implement such a scheme at a state level and South Australia has had a similar scheme in place for some time.

Latest on National Container Deposit Scheme



05 Sep 2013

Better management of Australia's waste provides an opportunity to create new industries and jobs, improve the natural environment and minimise waste production. A container deposit scheme and a national waste register will help this transition.


Greens Launch Voluntary “Cash-for-Containers” Scheme for Tasmania

11 May 2013

Peter Whish-Wilson, Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania and national spokesperson on waste and recycling, today launched his voluntary local cash-for-container scheme at Little Howrah Beach near Hobart. 


Coca-Cola rubbishes effective solution for beverage container pollution

14 Dec 2012


Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson has expressed his disappointment at actions of Coca- Cola Amatil in trying to have the courts rule that the NT’s Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) is legally invalid.



Senator Whish-Wilson speaking on container deposit scheme inquiry

29 Nov 2012


On Thursday November 22nd Senator Peter Whish-Wilson spoke in the Senate on the outcomes of a Senate Inquiry into profiteering in container deposit schemes.


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