Each year, Western Australians use more than 1.5 billion drink containers. Sadly, many are not recycled, ending up in landfill and as litter across our state.

1. How it works

2. What you can return

3. Where you can return

4. Where your containers go

When Containers for Change launches in June 2020, you will be able to return your eligible empty containers for a 10-cent refund, which you can either collect yourself or donate to a charity, community group and not-for-profit registered with the scheme.

You can return your containers in two ways:

  • at container Refund Points, where you can choose to collect or donate your refund, or
  • at Donation Points run by local community groups, charities or not-for-profits, where you can donate your container for that group or organisation to claim the refund.


Once launched, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises, community groups and sporting groups will be able to register to receive donations when people return their containers.

Community and not-for-profit organisations can also register to be a Donation Point in their own right, using a cage or bin to collect eligible containers. For more information check out our Community Page.

Eligible containers

Most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard drink containers between 150ml and 3L are eligible for a refund. You can also identify eligible containers by their refund mark, which manufacturers must include on all eligible containers by 1 June 2022.

Handy tip: make sure your containers are empty and the lids are off! Lids are a different type of plastic and can’t be recycled with the containers.

Excluded containers

At the moment, we are focussed on containers people commonly drink from when they are out and about, rather than those they drink from at home.

Because of this, containers for cordial, plain milk, wine and pure spirits are not currently accepted. Flavoured milk in 1L or more, pure fruit or vegetable juice, cask wine and cask water are also excluded.

These containers can be recycled in your normal kerbside recycling, or through drop-off services.

You can find a detailed list of containers on the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s website here.

WARRRL will create a convenient and accessible network of container Refund Points across the state, through an open market application and assessment process. Over 170 Refund Points will be ready for container refunds by June 2020, growing to more than 220 sites by June 2021.

Refund Points will be run by many social enterprises and organisations, working to provide a place for you to return your eligible containers for 10-cent refunds.

You can find out more information on the WA’s Container Deposit Scheme, as well as a comprehensive list of eligible and excluded beverage containers, by visiting the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation website.

After your containers are returned, they join other recycled goods which are sold through an international online auction portal. Recyclers then turn your containers into raw materials like aluminium ingots and shredded plastic, which can be made into many useful products – from aircraft wings to shoelaces. You then get to continue the cycle by recycling the ‘new’ product.

Some items, like glass and aluminium, can be infinitely recycled this way without any loss of quality.

This reuse of resources is known as a circular economy and is an important way we can reduce our impact on the planet.

Did you know? Plastic has a life span of over 500 years, which means the very first plastic bottle you ever used still exists somewhere on the planet.

Materials you can recycle include:

  • PET (polyethylene terephthalate) a synthetic resin found in soft drink bottles, which can be used to make clothing and textiles, automotive parts, industrial strapping and more
  • HDPE (high-density polyethylene) a high-density plastic found in milk bottles and shampoo containers, which can be used to make hard hats
  • Aluminium cans are melted into aluminium ingots and used in manufacturing items like new aluminium cans, engine clocks and aeroplane wings
  • Glass bottles, these are either sorted by colour and reprocessed into glass bottles or a glass sand to be used as a building aggregate for road construction, bedding sand and asphalt
  • Steel, which can be melted down and reused in construction, transport, appliances and energy production
  • As well as many other plastics

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