Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE -

QUEENS­LAN­DERS can turn trash into cash, with the state’s new con­tainer re­fund scheme of­fer­ing a 10 cent re­fund for each el­i­gi­ble con­tainer re­turned for re­cy­cling.

The new scheme – Con­tain­ers for Change – launched on Novem­ber 1 and has the goal of re­duc­ing lit­ter flow­ing from the nearly three bil­lion drink con­tain­ers sold in Queens­land each year.

Alby Tay­lor, act­ing chair of Con­tainer Ex­change (COEX) – the or­gan­i­sa­tion tasked with es­tab­lish­ing and run­ning the Con­tainer Re­fund Scheme – said Queens­land had one of the high­est lit­ter­ing rates in the coun­try.

“Forty-five per cent more plas­tic rub­bish is found in this state than in the rest of the coun­try,” Mr Tay­lor said.

“Just one year’s-worth of con­tainer lit­ter in this state would go around the world roughly 10 times if laid end-toend. Con­tain­ers for Change will help im­prove re­cy­cling rates, re­duce lit­ter and pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for char­i­ties, com­mu­nity groups and other not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tions.”

The net­work launched with more than 230 re­fund points through­out the state, with that num­ber ex­pected to grow to more than 300.

“We have also es­tab­lished a num­ber of tem­po­rary bag drop lo­ca­tions around the state to en­sure cus­tomers can re­turn their con­tain­ers over the busy launch pe­riod,” Mr Tay­lor said.

The cur­rent lo­ca­tions of the Con­tain­ers for Change re­fund points were pro­posed by op­er­a­tors af­ter an open ten­der process run by COEX.

Ken Noye, COEX chief ex­ec­u­tive, said the statewide process re­ceived a great re­sponse and ac­knowl­edged there was not yet blan­ket cov­er­age through­out the state.

“Some of the more re­mote ar­eas of Western Queens­land, far north Queens­land and the Tor­res Strait don’t have op­er­a­tors yet due to the chal­lenges of smaller pop­u­la­tions and vast dis­tances,” Mr Noye said.

“COEX staff have been trav­el­ling to those ar­eas to de­velop sus­tain­able so­lu­tions.”

The State Govern­ment has recog­nised the prob­lems faced by ru­ral and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties, and is pro­vid­ing $10,000 grants to schools and other not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tions to set up do­na­tion points in ru­ral and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties.

In ad­di­tion, Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der Coun­cils have been en­cour­aged to ap­ply for grants of up to $50,000 to help them take part in the scheme.

More in­for­ma­tion on these grants can be found at­vi­ron­ment/ pol­lu­tion/man­age­ment/waste/ re­cov­ery/fund­ing-grants

Mr Noye said as more mo­bile and fixed col­lec­tion points come on board, ac­cess to re­funds would im­prove.

“We’d love to see com­mu­ni­ties get be­hind this scheme to raise funds for schools, com­mu­nity groups, sport­ing clubs and other not for profit or­gan­i­sa­tions,” he said.

“Ul­ti­mately, the Queens­land en­vi­ron­ment will ben­e­fit from a re­duc­tion of pol­lu­tion in our oceans, rivers and creeks.”

To mark the launch of the scheme, Mackay artist and con­ser­va­tion­ist David Day was com­mis­sioned to de­sign a gi­ant sculp­ture in Bris­bane’s King Ge­orge Square made en­tirely from re­cy­cled drink con­tain­ers.

The in­cred­i­ble art­work of a fish is made of 4000 con­tain­ers, stand­ing 3.08m high and 6m long.

Mr Day lives on the beach at Shoal Point in Mackay and sees the di­rect con­se­quences of lit­ter on the fore­shore.

“By mak­ing a large-scale fish us­ing waste, I hope I’ve em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of tak­ing bet­ter care of our state,” he said.

Visit the Con­tain­ers for Change web­site for more in­for­ma­tion on the scheme and to reg­is­ter for a scheme ID. RE­TURN your el­i­gi­ble drink con­tainer to a Con­tainer Re­fund Point (CRP) to get your 10 cent re­fund per con­tainer, or do­nate them to a com­mu­nity group di­rectly. Head to con­tain­ers­for to find your near­est lo­ca­tion and also sign-up for your scheme ID.

El­i­gi­ble con­tain­ers

Con­tain­ers for Change is fo­cused on re­duc­ing lit­ter in the en­vi­ron­ment so re­cy­cling ef­forts are on drinks gen­er­ally con­sumed away from home such as soft drinks, wa­ter bot­tles and small flavoured milk.

This in­cludes

most glass, plas­tic, alu­minium, steel and pa­per-based car­tons be­tween 150ml and 3L. Drink con­tain­ers gen­er­ally only con­sumed only at home such as wine bot­tles and spirit bot­tles are ex­cluded. This in­cludes plain milk, pure juice drinks and cor­dials. Need more in­for­ma­tion? Call 134 242.

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