NSW Return and Earn Scheme

Powered by TOMRA Cleanaway

Return and Earn is the largest litter reduction initiative introduced in NSW. 

Littering impacts all of us. It spoils our environment, costs millions of dollars to clean up, and is associated with anti-social behaviour. 160 million drink containers end up as litter in NSW per year. Return and Earn is reducing the number of drink containers in the litter stream - the NSW target of litter reduction is 40% by 2020.

We're proudly delivering Return and Earn along with our joint venture partners - Cleanaway. We're providing the Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) that are used to collect eligible containers, and Cleanaway handles the collection and recycling of the containers. 100% of all containers collected through Return and Earn are recycled.

How to use a reverse vending machine

How to use a reverse vending machine

1. Insert your empty containers into the chute at the front of the reverse vending machine.
2. When you’re finished, select your preferred payout method on the screen:

Digital refund: Download the myTOMRA app and link it to PayPal, to transfer the refund to your account.
Retail refund: Take a printed voucher from the machine for a cash refund or a saving at participating retailers.
Donate your refund: Choose on the screen the charity or community fundraiser to donate your refund to.

As you insert your containers, the reverse vending machine identifies the type of packaging and sorts the containers into different storage areas behind the machines, ready for pick up by Cleanaway.

Eligible drink containers

Eligible Containers

As part of the scheme, you can receive a refund for most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard beverage containers between 150ml and 3L. Do not crush your containers or remove the labels as the scanners will need to identify the shape, label and barcode to register your refund. After a period of transition, all eligible drink containers will have to display a refund marking that will make it easy to see which containers can be returned. This program targets containers that are likely to be consumed outside of the house. 

A number of drink containers are not eligible for a refund under the scheme. These 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

·  Sachets above 250ml which have contained wine

·  Registered health tonics.

Containers that are smaller than 150mL or bigger than 3L will not be eligible for a refund. The ineligible containers will still be able to be recycled through your local kerbside bins.

To find out if your specific container is eligible, you can check out the Return and Earn Container Search. Search by barcode, brand and material type.