2023 was a big year for container refund schemes in Australia! Victoria jumped on the recycling bandwagon, and Queenslanders like us made history by saying ‘Cheers’ to accepting wine and spirit bottles. Amidst all the buzz, some misconceptions remain that can confuse people on the effectiveness of refund schemes.  We’re here to debunk these myths with some facts from Containers for Change Queensland! 

Myth #1: Containers are not recycled.

Reality: 100% of containers returned through Containers for Change are recycled. After being sorted at a refund point, containers are processed and baled, then sold through direct sales agreements or via online auction to a panel of accredited recyclers. The list of new products made from your containers is varied and growing but includes new bottles, plastic food trays, insulation, construction materials, road base and many more. Check out our video for more on this process -

The Circular Economy
Man looking at containers

Myth #2: All containers are sent offshore.

Reality: It’s true that some materials like aluminium do need to be sent offshore for recycling but that is only because the infrastructure to reprocess that material isn’t available in Australia.  However, an increasing range  of containers are now being recycled at home with more exciting developments in the recycling industry pipeline. Visy is currently building a new glass recycling and manufacturing facility in Yatala on the Gold Coast. Construction material company saveBOARD has received funding to establish its first Queensland facility nearby, helping turn tetra pack containers, including juice poppers, into funky wall panels.   

Bails of Liquid Paper Board

Myth #3: You can’t return crushed cans.

Reality: In general, the scheme can accept hand crushed containers. To crush or not to crush depends on the refund point type you choose. Crushing cans can save space and make transporting your empties easier - ideal if you plan to visit a depot or drive through. If you opt for a reverse vending machine, it’s better to leave them intact as the machines will need to read the barcodes.

Man holding bags of cans

Myth #4: Returning containers takes too much time and effort.

Reality: It’s never been easier to return your containers with a huge range of refund point options across the state! Short on time? Use one of our 24/7 bag drop services. Stuck at home? Book a free home collection. We’ve got more refund points in Queensland than Maccas with more opening all the time! Find the best return option for you with our quick quiz -


Refund Point Quiz
Man putting box in car

Myth #5: Recycling containers doesn’t make a difference.

Reality: Since Containers for Change launched in 2018, we’ve seen more than 7.8 billion containers returned via our refund points across the state. This has paid more than $780 million back to savvy recyclers and donated $11 million to charities and community groups. The scheme has also supported more than 935 jobs across Queensland – many of these in regional areas. Need more proof? Check out some of our inspiring Change Maker stories -

View our Stories
Women and man leaning on purple bin

Small actions can make a big difference. Returning your containers is a simple yet impactful way to contribute to a greener, cleaner Queensland. So spread the word and help us bust these myths  - we can all make the change that matters.