Media Release Plastic Pollution

Ocean conservationists toast Queensland refund for wine & spirit bottles

April 20, 2023
  • QLD becomes first state to include wine & spirit bottles in deposit scheme

  • Glass wine & spirit bottles to eligible for a 10 cent refund from November 1
  • QLD Govt drops plans to include larger plastic containers despite support

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has welcomed the Queensland Government’s decision to expand the popular container refund scheme to include glass wine and spirit bottles, saying it is good news for wildlife.

However, conservationists have expressed concern that the government has dropped plans to expand the scheme to include flavoured milk and pure vegetable or fruit juice (at least 90% juice) containers from one to 3 litres, as well as water and wine in aseptic packs (liquid paperboard packs) from one to 3 litres.

Of 6,600 Queenslanders who responded to the government consultation, 98.1% were in favour of expanding the scheme to include more containers.

AMCS Plastics Campaign Manager Shane Cucow said: “With beverage bottles representing one of the largest categories of items collected in ocean cleanup surveys, this is good news for our oceans.

“Container refund schemes are proven to increase recycling and reduce litter, giving consumers an incentive to make sure bottles are not dropped in general garbage bins or tossed away into the environment.

“Queensland will be the first state to expand its container deposit scheme to include glass wine and spirit bottles.

“However we are disappointed to see the Queensland Government has dropped proposals to include larger plastic bottles for juice and flavoured milk, which were widely supported by ocean lovers.

“With news today that Australia will fail to meet our 2025 plastic packaging recovery targets, we need to be doing everything we can to increase plastic recycling.

“We urge governments to also consider increasing the refund amount to 20c, incentivising more people to get involved and ensure plastic bottles are safely recycled.”