How do we up the return rate using CDS’s? – Inside Waste

How do we up the return rate using CDS’s? – Inside Waste

Posted on June 13, 2023 by DrRossH in Plastic Recycling

With most states and territories having a CDS, is it time to turn our attention to honing the system? What about upping the refund rate?

Source: How do we up the return rate using CDS’s? – Inside Waste

Closed Loop’s Robert Kelman made the point that the established schemes seem stagnant in terms of return rates, which is currently about 68 per cent nationally. He also made it clear that there were still between three to four million containers being littered or landfilled annually. One of his fixes is to increase the refund rate (more on that later – Ed), and that more return points are needed.

“We could substantially increase convenience,” he said. “The rate of collection points to people in Europe is about 1 per 1000. Whereas here, it varies from 1 to 12,000 to 1 to 20,000, depending on the state and metro/regional area.”

Another fix, he said, could be refilling bottles instead of returning or landfilling them. 

Shaun Fraser from Queensland’s Container Exchange has hard data, which has helped his organisation identify pressure points that need to be addressed moving forward. This includes demographics that are not coming to the party, as well as the amount of containers still bound for landfill.

“We know where participation is happening, and we know that the demographic of 18 to 35 is not where it needs to be,” he said. “We also know out-of-home consumption sits at about 20 per cent. We’re also working with councils because we’ve got a lot of waste data that shows up to 500 million containers are still going in household red-top bins. Certainly, there’s disproportion in the MUD (multi-unit dwelling) stream, but with standalone residences there’s plenty of containers there as well. We’re really focused on those two things.”