Your eligible containers guide.

What you need to know

Container deposit scheme (CDS) recycling can get a little tricky. Depending on which state you live in, there are different rules for what can or can’t be recycled, even so, there are some easy ways of picking trash from treasure.

What can I recycle?

Think about it like this… container deposit schemes were designed to reduce litter, so if you’d take it to a picnic, there’s a good chance you can exchange it for a refund.

Bottles more likely to be consumed at home such as milk and cordial are not part of the scheme. If in doubt there should be a 10¢ symbol on the bottle or can.

Here are some hard and fast rules:

  • Non-beverage containers such as shampoo and detergent bottles cannot be returned under any state scheme.
  • Beer bottles and cans are eligible in every state, however, wine and spirits are only eligible in Queensland.
  • Bottles and cans must have a 10¢ refund symbol, be liquid-free, uncrushed and have the barcode intact.
  • Lids must be removed in Queensland and Northern Territory, but if you’re in Victoria or New South Wales you can keep them on.

100% recyclable

Plastic bottle 200 x 200

Plastic

  • Water (plain, still or carbonated) under 3L
  • Carbonated soft drinks under 3L
  • Sports/Vitamin/Energy drinks under 3L
  • Fruit/Juice-based drinks (less than 90% juice) under 3L
  • Pure fruit/vegetable juice under 1L
  • Flavoured milk under 1L
  • Alcoholic beers and ciders under 3L
  • Pre-mixed, spirit-based drinks under 3L
  • Mini plastic wine bottles under 250ml
Can 200 x 200

Aluminium

  • Carbonated soft drinks under 3L
  • Alcoholic beers and ciders under 3L
  • Sports/Vitamin/Energy drinks under 3L
  • Fruit/Juice-based drinks (less than 90% juice) under 3L
  • Pre-mixed, spirit-based drinks under 3L
Glass bottle 200 x 200

Glass

  • Water (plain, still or carbonated) under 3L
  • Carbonated soft drinks under 3L
  • Alcoholic beers and ciders under 3L
  • Pre-mixed, spirit-based drinks under 3L
  • Pure fruit/vegetable juice under 1L
  • Fruit/Juice-based drinks (less than 90% juice) under 3L
Liquid Paperboard 200 x 200

Liquid paperboard

  • Flavoured milk under 1L
  • Pure fruit/vegetable juice under 1L
  • Fruit/Juice-based drinks (less than 90% juice) under 3L
  • Coconut water under 3L

Tricky ones

Wine and Spirits bottles 200 x 200

Wine and spirits

Wine and spirits are not eligible for a 10¢ refund in NSW, VIC, or NT. In QLD, however, wine and spirits bottles are approved for a 10¢ refund.

Other plastic bottles 200 x 200

Other plastic bottles

Large plastic bottles, such as milk containers and cordial bottles are not eligible under any state’s scheme. Small bottles, such as probiotic and health tonics are also ineligible for a 10¢ refund.

Recycling Depot Bag Still

Why can’t I recycle everything?

Some containers may display a ’10¢’ symbol but still might not be eligible. These containers may not have been approved by the state government or network operator – or, the brand may not have registered the container in the scheme properly.

It’s worth contacting the company or your state environment member, it frustrates us too!

Barcode registry search

Containers for Change

Visit Queensland’s Containers for Change website for more information about what you can or can’t recycle.

CDS Vic

Visit Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme website for more information about what you can or can’t recycle.

Return and Earn NSW

Visit New South Whale’s Return and Earn website for more information about what you can or can’t recycle.