FAQ Page

What drink containers are eligible for a refund?

The easiest way to check if your container is eligible is to look for the 10 cent mark. In Victoria, most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard drink containers between 150mL and 3 litres are eligible for a refund.

You can understand more about eligible containers by clicking on the link below.

How can I tell if my container is eligible?

Find the 10c mark on the drink label to see if it is eligible or is not eligible for a refund (eg: “10 cent refund at refund points in participating state/territory of purchase”), which often appears near the barcode.

Most 150mL to 3 litres beverage containers are eligible for a 10 cent refund provided they are made from glass, plastic, aluminium, steel or liquid paperboard. These are the containers most regularly consumed on the go and found in the litter stream.

What condition do my containers need to be in?

Containers need to be empty – and we also encourage lids on, helping to make sure every part of your container is recycled.

We also recommend you don’t crush containers, as most refund points can't accept them if containers have been crushed.

What containers are not eligible for a refund?

All containers smaller than 150mL and bigger than 3 litres are not eligible for a refund. Other ineligible containers include:

• plain milk containers, glass containers which have contained wine or pure spirits, large containers (1 litre or more) which have contained flavoured milk, pure juice, cask wine or cask water, cordial or vegetable juice containers, wine sachets above 250mL, and registered health tonics, Household food containers (e.g. tuna cans) are also not eligible for refunds.

You can continue to recycle many of these containers – check with your local council to see which containers can still be recycled through your household recycling bin.

Why are some containers not eligible for a refund?

The drink containers that are currently eligible for a refund are those that are most commonly found as litter in our streets, beaches, waterways and parks across Victoria. They are the type of containers you might consume ‘on the go’ when you are outside or away from home.

The containers that aren’t accepted contain products most commonly used in the home – which is why we encourage you to continue to use your household recycling bin.

Does my container need to have a label or a barcode?

Containers returned through reverse vending machines (RVMs) need a readable barcode so they can be scanned to make sure they are eligible.

You can return containers without barcodes or labels at other refund points if the operator can recognise the container as eligible. Refund point operators may find it difficult to recognise containers as eligible if they’re not common products, so acceptance is at their discretion.

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We are happy to answer any CDS Victoria related questions.

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    What types of refund point are there?

    There are four types of refund points across Victoria. This ensures that Victorians across our state have access to the scheme, including in regional areas.

    The types are Depots, Reverse vending machines (RVMs), Over-the-counter (OTC), Pop-ups

    At each refund point, Victorians can return eligible containers for 10 cents. Different refund points may offer different services and experiences, such as drive-through services.

    How is Victoria's Container Deposit Scheme Funded?

    CDS Vic is a product stewardship scheme. That means beverage companies pay for the 10 cent refund and operating costs, helping to make CDS Vic convenient and accessible for all Victorians.

    It also means beverage suppliers are playing their part in helping to improve recycling rates and reduce the number of containers that end up in landfill.

    Will containers be recycled by offshore recyclers?

    Containers will be transformed into new clean streams of materials for recycling by recyclers both here in Victoria and across Australia.

    Most of these recyclers are in Australia, whilst some material is sent overseas for recycling where local options are not viable.

    The good news is, with the support of state and federal government funding, more and more domestic recycling capacity is being established here in Victoria and across Australia!

    What is Victoria's Container Deposit Scheme (CDS)?

    Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme (CDS Vic) is a new initiative that will provide a 10 cent refund to Victorians for every eligible drink container they return, from 1 November 2023.

    A Victorian Government initiative, CDS Vic will enable Victorians to return their eligible drink containers at hundreds of refund points across our state.

    Not only will it provide Victorians with a 10 cent refund for every eligible container – it will help create a cleaner stream of material for recycling and reduce the number of bottles, cans and containers ending up in landfill or on local streets.

    What happens to the containers once they are returned to a refund point?

    We give containers a new life by transforming them into new streams of material for recycling – meaning your containers can be turned into new drink containers, as well as other useful products.

    Here’s how it works:

    Zone Operators sort returned containers into material types before transporting them to be processed.

    The sorted containers are then transported to a processing facility, where the processor prepares the material for recycling.

    Recyclers then purchase the materials to recycle them into new products. This includes new glass and PET bottles, aluminum cans and other items like clothing and plastic-based construction items.

    When the materials are recycled into a new eligible container, the circular economy journey starts again!

    Is "returning" different from "donating"?

    Yes! You’ll see and feel the effects of both, at home and in your local community. If you return your containers to a refund point, you’ll get the refund right into your pocket (or your bank account).

    If you donate your containers to a collection drive hosted by a community group or charity, you’ll be making a direct contribution in helping them raise funds.

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