Asked Questions

We hope you find this page useful. If you have any other questions, there are more FAQs on the Containers for Change website or just ask one of our friendly staff.

What is Containers for Change?



What is Containers for Change?

The Containers for Change scheme started in November 2019. It has successfully reduced litter and increased Queensland’s recycling rates by offering a 10 cent refund on many drink containers.  

Why was the Scheme introduced?

The CRS was introduced to help clean up our state by encouraging Queenslanders to recycle their beverage containers and reduce litter. Previously, beverage containers were the second most littered item in our environment and Queensland had one of the lowest recycling rates in Australia at around 44%. With almost three billion beverage containers generated each year in Queensland, that is a lot of material that can be reused and create local jobs. 

Who funds Containers for Change?

Containers for Change is funded by the manufacturers who sell eligible beverages in Queensland. Thus, they take responsibility for the environmental impact of their containers by paying a fee for every drink they sell. This fee is paid to the not-for-profit Container Exchange (COEX) that manages the scheme.

What happens to Containers once they are returned?

Our machines sort the containers into the main material types (plastic, glass, aluminium). Therse are then transported to a processing facility. There, the processor prepares the material for recycling – usually by crushing the materials into bales.

Accredited recyclers purchase the materials off a secure online auction portal run by Container Exchange (COEX) which they recycle into new products. If the materials are recycled into a new eligible container, the journey starts again!

Is Containers for Change run by the government?

No. The container refund scheme (CRS) is a Queensland Government initiative, but Containers for Change is managed Container Exchange (COEX). This is a not-for-profit organisation appointed by the Queensland Government to establish and operate the scheme and the many Container Refund Points (CRP) are run by independent businesses.

Which Containers can I refund?



How can I tell if my container is eligible for a refund?

Many drink containers sold in Queensland between 150ml and 3litres are eligible, but not all are. You can check if your container is eligible by:

  • finding the 10 cents refund mark on the container
  • check the pictures and guides on our website for most common refundable containers
  • Go to the COEX website and enter the container’s barcode into the container checker on this page,
  • Download the Containers for Change app, login and scan the barcode.
    Does my container need to have a label or barcode?

    To keep things moving fast, we need containers that are not crushed or damaged and have a barcode our machines can read. They can scan 400 containers per minute IF barcodes are clear.

    You can return containers without barcodes or labels if we can recognise the container as eligible. It’s is up to the us whether we will accept containers without labels or barcodes.

    Do I need to remove lids from containers before cashing them in?

    Yes please! Lids may seem harmless, but they can be dangerous in our high speed machines. If a lid is left on when a container is processed the lid can shoot off it, potentially injuring a worker or customer nearby. Put container lids in your bins at home.

    Which containers are not eligible for a refund?

    All containers smaller than 150ml and bigger than 3L are not eligible for a refund. Other ineligible containers 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,
    • wine sachets above 250ml,
    • and registered health tonics.

    For the full list of ineligible containers registered by the State Government, please see here. Check with your local council to see which containers can still be recycled through your regular bin service.

    Why are some containers not eligible?

    The container refund scheme (CRS) aims to reduce beverage container litter in the environment. The containers eligible for a refund are those most commonly consumed outside of the home and so, are more likely to end up in the environment.

    Some ineligible containers are difficult to process and recycle whether that be from the size of the container or the material it’s made from. Accepting these containers may increase scheme costs beyond a sustainable amount.

    Don’t forget that most ineligible containers can still be recycled through local government recycling programs

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