Australia: SA container recycling scheme revamped

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South Australia's pioneering container deposit scheme will be revamped with the state government committing to key changes and investigating more improvements.

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In the first major overhaul of the scheme in its 45-year history, the government will improve container return options, allow for digital refunds instead of just cash and include the ability to donate direct to charity.

A review has suggested the introduction of reverse vending machines to allow people to drop off containers.

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A broadening the range of glass containers that can be returned is also on the table.

SA is contributing to a national review of container deposit legislation with a view to achieving an Australia-wide consensus on what containers can be returned.

"Our container deposit scheme is considered one of the best performing in the world but there are opportunities for improvement and even better returns," Environment Minister Susan Close said on Thursday.

"The opportunities to reduce cash handling at depots, directly donate to charity, provide digital deposit returns and introduce reverse vending machines are exciting and will see our state continue to lead recycling efforts globally."

Ms Close said the government would continue to work with recycling depot operators and beverage producers to develop legislative changes.

SA's deposit scheme was the first introduced in Australia in 1977 and provides for a 10-cent return on a range of containers from flavoured milk and fruit juice cartons and containers to beer and soft drink bottles.

Wine bottles are currently not included in the scheme.

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