Queenslanders have voted with their containers, overwhelmingly saying the Container Refund Scheme has been a smash hit.
Both Mount Isa’s Refund Points were overwhelmed with recyclable material in the first week of operation and the tread continues four weeks in.
Residents had been stockpiling their recycling plastic containers in anticipation for the commencement date.
MIMR owner Bob Glanville said the scheme had been well received.
“It was like a tsunami of recyclables arrived” Mr Glanville said.
“However initially there was a bit of confusion as to how people register online.”
“The details you give are secure,” Mr Glanville said.
“We only get access to your Scheme ID which means you can use that ID anywhere throughout Queensland.”
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said almost 50 million drink containers have been returned in the first month of the scheme.
“This means that in its first month alone, almost $5 million has gone back into Queenslanders’ pockets as well as to our charities, schools, community groups and sporting clubs,” Ms Enoch said.
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“This is a phenomenal result in only four weeks and we have to remember this is just the very beginning for Queensland’s Container Refund Scheme, Containers for Change.
“More than 60 000 Queenslanders have also signed up to receive their 10-cent refund on containers and more than 500 jobs been created as a result of the scheme across the state.
“Charities and community groups are also getting involved with over 1000 having registered with the scheme, sharing in the donation of refunds, to support vital community services.
Minister Enoch said that with an average of over 1.5 million containers being returned every day this means there are less containers going to landfill, waterways and into our environment as litter.
“Queenslanders use nearly three billion containers every year and sadly they are the second most commonly littered item in the environment, despite the fact they can be easily recycled,” she said
“I also have to highlight, and praise efforts of the container refund point operators, which has been outstanding, and the results speak for themselves.
“Many of these operators are small family-run businesses and I want to congratulate these operators for their hard work in getting the refund points up and running and Queenslanders for their support.”
Ken Noye Chief Executive Officer of Container Exchange, the organisation running Containers for Change, said the scheme provides opportunities for schools, charities, community groups and other not-for-profit organisations in the community.
“It provides unprecedented opportunities for these bodies to raise funds for much-needed resources, especially smaller organisations which have to compete for funding in the not-for-profit-sector,” Mr Noye said.
“Queensland will benefit from the 500 new jobs being created around the state to implement and operate the scheme, and that’s good news for people who want to work within the scheme.”