The closest
The closest "return and earn" vending machine to the Northern Rivers will be this one, at Woolgoolga near Coffs Harbour.

Carton of beer costs $5 more with new recycling scheme

IT WAS touted as a return and earn scheme, but so far it is only costing Northern Rivers beverage drinkers more.

Following the introduction of the container deposit scheme consumers are paying 20 cents more for canned and bottled drinks..

Under the scheme Return and Earn, consumers can claim back 10 cents per drink container at collection points and reverse vending machines across New South Wales from December 1.

But costs have already risen as retailers got their first bill earlier this month, and while some of the 800-plus collection points have been rolled out, the closest one for Northern Rivers residents is in Woolgolga, near Coffs Harbour.

The scheme is aimed at reducing the amount of container litter across NSW, which makes up 44 per cent of the state's litter and costs more than $162 million to manage.

It has been called the largest litter reduction scheme ever introduced in the state, and was set to help meet the NSW Premier's goal of reducing the volume of litter by 40 per cent by 2020.

Most NSW beverage containers between 150mm and 3 litres will be eligible for the 10-cent refund.


Local Byron Bay brewery Stone and Wood have had to raise the cost of beer cartons by $3 per pack of 24, but that means buying it from a retailer could cost consumers an extra $4.80 for a carton of beer or soft drink.

This affects retailers as well as manufacturers, importers and wholesalers.

Darren Butcher from Nimbin Bakery posted on Facebook: "I'm sure I can speak for all beverage retailers in Nimbin, and all NSW in fact, but from November 1 all our packaged drink prices have increased to cover the recycling levy imposed by government to cover redemption from December 1."

"Unfortunately, manufacturers have been able to increase the price of their packaged drinks by MORE than the $0.10 per bottle to cover 'administration' of the levy to the government. ALL my packaged beverages have increased by $0.14 or $0.15 each, meaning a $0.20 increase in retail price MINIMUM," Mr Butcher wrote.

He said as a small business they cannot absorb the increase and warned "valued customers" the drink prices were imminent.

He added: "Moral to the story - start collecting your recycling bottles to complete redemption, because if we don't - the government get to keep the $0.10 per bottle on EVERY bottle produced by manufacturers."

Container materials that may be eligible for a refund include:



- Glass

- Aluminium

- Steel

- Liquid paperboard

More collection points are expected to be established in each zone from December 1 and may include local shops, depot sites and recycling centres.

It is expected Woolworths sites in the region will also install reverse vending machines.

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