Coming 30 June, 2018

What is the ACT CDS?

Frequently Asked Questions

The ACT Container Deposit Scheme (ACT CDS) will commence in the ACT on 30 June 2018.


The Scheme encourages recycling within the Canberra community and aims to reduce waste to landfill via increased source separation of eligible containers at ACT CDS collection points.


Under the Scheme, you will be able to return eligible, empty beverage containers to designated collection points and receive a 10 cent refund for each container.


Most aluminium, glass, PET, HDPE, steel and liquid paperboard beverage containers between 150 millilitres and 3 litres (inclusive) will be eligible containers under the Scheme.


Container collection points will feature across the ACT in accessible, high residential catchment areas. Collection points include bulk counting depots, where containers can be returned for cash


The ACT CDS will be similar to schemes that are already running in other States and Territories including South Australia, the Northern Territory and New South Wales.


Beverage prices

The ACT CDS is funded by beverage suppliers. To cover costs to participate in the Scheme, you may see the price of beverages increase slightly. As part of the Scheme the ACT Government is considering price monitoring measures. Monitoring measures will focus on retailer beverage pricing in the ACT prior to and following the ACT CDS commencement.


For more detailed information, please read our Frequently Asked Questions.

Eligible containers

The ACT CDS will be similar to the NSW CDS ‘Return and Earn’ in terms of which containers are eligible for a refund, and which are not. Most empty beverage containers that are sized between 150ml and 3 litres are eligible for a refund at ACT CDS collection points.


Containers that are NOT eligible



The containers that aren’t eligible include milk, cordial, wine and spirit bottles. More information on this is included in our Frequently Asked Questions.


Where can I return my containers for a refund?



Collection points around the ACT are being set up now, with more information coming soon. There will be two types of collection points:

Express collection points will be an over-the- counter (face-to- face) shopfront. These will be ideal for returning smaller numbers of containers, and they’ll give you the option of receiving a direct payment to a nominated bank account, or donating your refund to charity.

Bulk depots will accept larger quantities of containers and will offer payment options of cash refunds, direct payment to your nominated bank account, or donation to charity.

Collection point locations will be announced on this website as they are confirmed.

Containers eligible for a refund.

eligible bottle

To be eligible for a 10c refund under the ACT CDS, containers must be:

  • Between 150mL – 3L in size
  • Glass, plastic, aluminium, steel or liquid paperboard (cartons)

Containers should be empty and in a reasonable condition.

At the commencement of the Scheme, the ACT CDS collection points will accept crushed containers, and any container which carries the refund marking of SA and NT schemes.

Containers not eligible for a refund.

non eligible bottle

The following beverage containers are excluded from the ACT CDS:

  • Plain milk (or milk substitute) containers
  • Cordial containers
  • Containers for concentrated fruit or vegetable juice (or a mixture of concentrated fruit and vegetable juices) intended to be diluted before consumption
  • Registered health tonic containers
  • Containers designed to contain less than 150ml of beverage
  • Containers designed to contain more than 3L of beverage
  • Glass containers designed to contain only wine or spirituous liquor
  • Containers designed to contain 1L or more of flavoured milk
  • Containers designed to contain 1L or more of beverage comprising at least 90% fruit or vegetable juice (or a mixture of fruit and vegetable juices),
  • Containers made of cardboard and plastic, cardboard and foil or cardboard, plastic and foil (commonly known as casks or aseptic packs) designed to contain 1L or more of wine, wine-based beverage or water (including mineral water and spring water)
  • Containers made of plastic or foil, or both, (commonly known as sachets) designed to contain 250ml or more of wine.

Supplier sign-up

Beverage suppliers will play an important role in the ACT CDS. Suppliers of eligible beverages into the ACT need to enter into a Supply Arrangement with the scheme coordinator, Exchange for Change ACT, and contribute towards the Scheme. The financial contribution each supplier will make will be in proportion with their share of the eligible containers sold within ACT.

If you are a Supplier into NSW and have already entered into a NSW Supply Arrangement with Exchange for Change, you will need to sign up for ACT CDS as well.

Below is information on ACT CDS pricing, and the definition of a Supplier into the ACT.

Click on the links below to download resources

Resources for suppliers