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The New South Wales Container Deposit Scheme (CDS); Return and Earn, comes into effect on 1 December 2017. The scheme will allow customers to return eligible beverage containers between 150ml and 3L in volume to an authorised collection point for a 10c refund (exceptions will apply).

For more information please visit the websites below:

Return and Earn website - http://returnandearn.org.au/

Woolworths Group website - https://www.woolworthsgroup.com.au/

NSW EPA website - http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/waste/container-deposit-scheme.htm

Frequently Asked Questions

According to recent government data, containers make up 44% of all litter in NSW. So the Government is introducing the Return & Earn initiative to encourage people to recycle their drinks containers and keep them off our streets and out of our parks.

Most empty 150ml to 3-litre beverage containers will be eligible for a 10 cent refund. Container materials that may be eligible for a refund include:

  • Plastic (PET and HDPE)
  • Glass
  • Aluminium
  • Steel
  • Liquid paperboard (Cartons)

The Return & Earn initiative will begin by focusing on containers most commonly found as litter. Containers that can’t be deposited for a refund include:

  • Plain milk (or milk substitute) containers
  • Flavoured milk containers of 1 litre or more
  • Pure fruit or vegetable juice containers of 1 litre or more
  • Glass containers for wine and spirits
  • Casks for wine or water of 1 litre or more
  • Sachets for wine of 250ml or more
  • Containers for wine of 250ml or more
  • Containers for cordials and concentrated fruit/vegetable juices
  • Registered health tonics

Containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and have the original label attached. If a container isn’t eligible for a refund, please use a recycling bin. Remember – don’t crush or squash your containers

As well as the 10¢ initiative refund, an initiative admin fee has been included in the price increase. This admin fee covers the cost of operating and administering the initiative.

Here's an example of what that may mean for a 24-pack of soft drink cans


Original price (incl GST)



What you can earn when you return the empties^ (24 x 10¢ refund)



Return & Earn initiative admin fee *^ (24 x 3.54¢) and GST



New price (incl GST)

The container refunds take effect from December 1st. After that date you will earn 10¢ for all eligible containers you return.

Special container collection points will be placed across NSW, with many of them conveniently located near Woolworths stores. To find your nearest collection point go to returnandearn.org.au/

Yes, there will be three types of collection points: reverse vending machines (RVMs), over-the-counter collection points and automated depots. You can get your refund in cash at over-the-counter collection points and automated depots. Vouchers are available at reverse vending machines which can be exchanged for money off your shop or cash at NSW Woolworths Supermarkets*.

Browse locations above to find your nearest Woolworths linked RVM

To find your nearest collection point go to returnandearn.org.au

*Selected machines only.

A reverse vending machine is a machine where you can return empty eligible containers like bottles and cans for recycling. When you insert your empty containers into the chute at the front of the machine, it will scan your container to ensure it is eligible for a refund. When you’ve finished depositing the containers, choose your preferred refund option on the electronic screen.

The machine will have options for either:

  • A voucher redeemable in NSW Woolworths Supermarkets (selected machines only. Click here to find your nearest Woolworths linked RVM
  • Electronic financial redemption
  • Charity donation

The redeemable voucher can be used at Woolworths team member operated checkouts within any NSW Woolworths Supermarket. Voucher can be redeemed as payment or part payment against your shopping or cash back.

Please note vouchers cannot be redeemed at:

  • Self Serve Checkouts within Woolworths Supermarkets
  • Woolworths Metro Stores
  • Woolworths Fuel Outlets
  • Woolworths Supermarket outside NSW

Browse locations above to find your nearest Woolworths linked RVM