Contain your excitement - Return and Earn hits two billion

In a major milestone for NSW litter reduction, two billion drink containers have been collected within just 19 months of the establishment of Return and Earn.

Minister for Environment Matt Kean said NSW communities have embraced the litter reduction program, returning an average of four million containers per day.

“Return and Earn has been a phenomenal success and has fundamentally changed people’s behaviour and thinking around litter,” Mr Kean said.

“The people of NSW have helped us achieve a 57 per cent reduction in eligible drink container litter volume since Return and Earn started in December 2017.

“Millions of people – one in every two adults in NSW - have changed their everyday recycling patterns and are doing their bit to reduce litter and collect their 10 cent refund.”

Return and Earn is delivering great results for the environment, with litter redirected from landfill towards reuse and recycling.

“Return and Earn is also delivering for the NSW economy. It has created more than 500 new jobs in the recycling and sustainability industry,” Mr Kean said.

“It’s good news for community groups too. More than 350 groups, which featured as donation partners on reverse vending machines, have raised more than $440,000 in donations.

“As Return and Earn continues towards the 3 billion milestone, it will continue to expand on its partnerships to improve the environment and benefit the NSW community.”

Return and Earn includes about 645 return points across NSW including reverse vending machines, automated depots and over the counter sites. For more information about Return and Earn, visit 

Top five performing Return and Earn sites:

  • Granville (14.8 million)
  • Marrickville (14.3 million)
  • Wagga Wagga North (13.6 million)
  • Casula (13.5 million)
  • Marsfield (13.5 million)

Two billion returned containers is equal to:

  • 8 trips around Australia
  • 166 return trips between Sydney and Melbourne
  • About 75% of a trip to the moon