The NSW Government is hoping to expand its popular Return and Earn recycling cashback scheme to include more bottle types and sizes.
Return and Earn depots currently accept beer, cider and a range of other beverage containers, and the scheme could soon include glass wine and spirit bottles, sachets and larger containers.
Minister for Environment James Griffin said public consultation had opened on the planned expansion, which could see up to an additional 400 million eligible bottles recycled each year, including 233 million glass bottles.
"Return and Earn began as a litter reduction tool, and since then, it's become incredibly popular with almost 80 per cent of adults in NSW having used the scheme, which has more than 620 return points across the State," Mr Griffin said.
"Since Return and Earn began in 2017, more than eight billion containers have been returned, delivering $800 million in refunds to the people of NSW, more than $35 million in donations to community groups and charities, and helping us reduce drink container litter by a massive 52 per cent.
"The scheme expansion would boost recycling rates, reduce landfill, and supercharge our push towards a circular economy in NSW.
"Expanding Return and Earn is a win for the environment, a win for communities and a win for businesses."
The Scheme's expansion would see almost all beverage containers between 150 millilitres and three litres accepted for refund.
This would include wine and spirits in glass bottles, cordials and juice concentrate, and larger containers up to three litres of beverages already in the scheme including flavoured milk, fruit and vegetable juice, cask wine and sachets.
Plain milk and health tonics would continue to be excluded from the scheme.
Currently, Return and Earn accepts drink containers including cans, beer and mixer bottles, cartons, juice boxes and poppers.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority will be holding targeted stakeholder information sessions and webinars in the coming months around NSW so a transition can be as smooth as possible for new suppliers to the scheme.
The discussion paper Driving NSW's circular economy is available at https://yoursay.epa.nsw.gov.au/ and is open for consultation until 2 December 2022.
Return and Earn reverse vending machines around the Hawkesbury include at McGraths Hill Home, Pitt Town Sports Club and United Petroleum Vineyard. Businesses that are listed as Return and Earn over the counter sites include Windsor Newsagency, Khan's General Store Pitt Town, Windsor Metal Recycling and Clean Xpress Car Wash Richmond.
For more information about Return and Earn visit www.returnandearn.org.au