Australia’s Allan Labor Government has launched the Container Deposit Scheme in Victoria (CDS Vic) with plans to cut litter by up to 50%.

Launched by Environment Minister Steve Dimopoulos, CDS Vic enables state-based citizens to return their eligible drink cans, bottles, and cartons at refund points in exchange for ten cents.

Eligible containers can be returned at reverse vending machines, depots, over-the-counter sites, and even pop-up refund points.

Depending on the type of refund point, Victorians can either receive the refund in cash, as a retail voucher, or as an electronic refund.

Participants can also choose to donate their refund to a charity or community organisation that is registered with the scheme.

This network of refund points to recycle containers is set to continue to grow in 2024.

Allocated ‘Zone Operators’ Return-It, TOMRA Cleanaway, and Visy will be responsible for setting up and monitoring the refund points and refunds to customers.

Each operator will be responsible for the refund point network in their allocated scheme zones, namely, north, east, and west.

According to the Victoria Government, Zone Operators will install one collection point per 14,500 people in metropolitan areas, at least one per town of 750 people, and one per area of 350 people in regional areas and remote areas, respectively.

More than 600 jobs are hoped to be created across the state through this scheme.

VicReturn will serve as the Scheme Coordinator for the initiative.

The scheme is part of the Labor Government’s $515m investment to improve the waste and recycling system in the state.

The state government aims to divert 80% of all material in the region away from landfills by 2030.

Dimopoulos said: “Our new Container Deposit Scheme is now open, which will reduce the amount of litter in Victoria by up to half – contributing to a more sustainable future, while putting money back in the pockets of hardworking Victorians.

“CDS Vic will maximise the number of cans, bottles and cartons being recycled into new products and keep them out of landfill.”

To further support CDS Vic, domestic supermarket chain Coles said that it is installing 47 Reverse Vending Machines across its Victorian stores.

The retailer’s machines are powered via advanced sorting technology and can hold up to 10,000 cartons, cans, or bottles.