Feedback sought on the NSW container deposit scheme

Return and Earn, which started on December 1, 2017,  provides consumers who return empty beverage containers to designated collection points, a 10-cent refund per container.
Return and Earn, which started on December 1, 2017, provides consumers who return empty beverage containers to designated collection points, a 10-cent refund per container.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is seeking comment from the community on the impacts of the container deposit scheme, ‘Return and Earn’, on the NSW beverage market.

Return and Earn, which started on December 1, 2017,   sees consumers take eligible empty containers – which include beer and soft drink cans and bottles – to pick-up points or reverse-vending machines to claim a 10-cent refund.

There was concern the scheme would see a rise in the price of beer and soft drink as companies pass the cost of the refund onto the consumer.

Now the NSW government has directed the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal to monitor the prices of all beverages, including those not eligible for refunds.

IPART Chair Dr Peter Boxall said feedback is being sought from the beverage industry, consumers and other interested stakeholders.

“We’re inviting comment on our proposed approach to the review, including feedback on how the costs of the scheme have affected beverage prices, and whether there has been any impact on competition in the beverage industry” Dr Boxall said.

IPART has not been asked to monitor the effectiveness of the scheme in achieving its objective of litter reduction or operational elements of the scheme, including the availability or accessibility of container collection points.

  • The Issues Paper is available from IPART’s website ipart.nsw.gov.au.

Submissions close on March 13, 2018.