TOMRA Cleanaway, the NSW state government appointed network operator of the new Return and Earn container deposit scheme (CDS), announced that Woolworths will be the first retail refund partner when the program launches on December 1, 2017.
Under the CDS, consumers will be able to return eligible beverage containers for recycling in exchange for a 10 cent refund.
The arrangement with Woolworths aims to provide up to 180 collection points in metro and regional areas of NSW.
Reverse vending machine (RVM) kiosks will be located across the state for the return of eligible containers.
Consumers will be able to choose to donate their refund directly to selected charities or receive the refund via electronic payment to their registered account.
Customers can also use a credit voucher issued by the RVM towards their shopping at Woolworths or redeem for cash in Woolworths supermarkets across NSW.
TOMRA Collection Director, Strategy & Business Development Markus Fraval said: “We are pleased to have the state’s largest retailer, Woolworths, on board as the first partner to be announced to provide redemption locations for residents to receive their refund.
“This will help support the delivery of the scheme in time for the December 1 launch. It will also provide customers with convenient RVM locations where they can drop off their containers and then redeem their vouchers at a nearby Woolworths supermarket.”
The NSW government introduced the CDS as a further initiative to help reduce the volume of litter across the state, with an expected reduction of 40 per cent earmarked by 2020.
The RVMs provide an efficient recycling system, which ensures containers are collected free of contamination so they can be recycled multiple times in ‘closed loops’. Containers returned to the RVMs are collected by Cleanaway and processed through a sorting centre in western Sydney. The containers are then sold into both domestic and export markets for reprocessing.
Woolworths FoodCo Managing Director Steve Greentree said: “As one of Australia’s largest retailers, we are committed to supporting initiatives that help improve and protect the environment.
“The agreement with TOMRA Cleanaway will ensure consumers have the option to support this NSW state government sustainability initiative, with convenient locations to return their containers and claim their refund.”
The locations of the RVM kiosks will be announced closer to the launch date.