Data shows Return and Earn reverse vending machines cutting litter

The introduction of Return and Earn has helped drop the amount of litter in NSW by more than one-third.

According to new figures from Keep Australia Beautiful, total litter volume in the state has reduced by 37 per cent since 2013/14.

Takeaway container litter has reduced by 19 per cent from 2016/17 and print and advertising litter has dropped by 35 per cent.

NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said the huge drop showed the NSW government’s range of anti-litter initiatives were working.

“Return and Earn’s impact is shown by looking at the scheme coordinator’s figures for the three months from March to May 2018, which show it collected for around 67 per cent of all containers supplied into NSW in that period,” Ms Upton said.

“Overall, there has been a 33 per cent drop in Return and Earn eligible drink containers in the litter stream since November 2017 – the month before the scheme was introduced on 1 December.”

On average three million containers a day are being collected at return points across NSW, Ms Upton said.  More than 560 million containers have been processed by Return and Earn so far.