Return and Earn 3 billion containers

Return and Earn has now soared past 3 billion containers returned state wide just a month after the second anniversary of the initiative.

The growth of the scheme has been phenomenal and highlights a fundamental change in people’s thinking and behaviour around litter.

Summer is peak season for return and earners cashing in their containers and helping the environment.

The largest day on record was 30 December 2019, which saw an enormous 8.42 million returned to reverse vending machines.

The recent holiday period has been particularly impressive for Return and Earn. Between 29 December 2019 and 16 January 2020, there were several days when more than 7 million drink containers were returned each day, including three days with over 8 million containers returned. The daily average is now 7 million drink containers being returned across the state.

The scheme has highlighted so many positives across communities and every bottle returned is a win for the environment and for recycling efforts. These positives include over $825,000 raised for donation partners in the last two years.

Until 23 February, recyclers in NSW can donate their proceeds to Bottles for the Bush on all reverse vending machines with 10 cents from each container going towards helping farmers and rural families impacted by the drought and the recent bushfire devastation. This option is part of a nationwide appeal that has raised more than $350,000 so far with more than $300,000 coming through NSW’s scheme.

Return and Earn includes around 640 return points across NSW including reverse vending machines, staffed automated depots and over the counter sites. For more information about Return and Earn, visit