SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S CONTAINER DEPOSIT SCHEME passed its 40th year in 2017.
The scheme, the first of its kind in Australia, offers a 10 cent refund for people depositing bottles or cans for recycling. The scheme was inspired by that operating in Portland, Oregon, USA.
The system was legislated by the Dunstan state government in 1975, before coming into effect in 1977.
South Australia was the only state or territory with such a scheme for 35 years until the Northern Territory introduced one in 2012. New South Wales and Western Australia have introduced similar schemes and Queenslanders will be able to collect cash for returning bottles and cans from mid-2018.
In 2006, South Australia's scheme was declared a heritage icon by the National Trust of South Australia.
The state has Australia’s lowest percentage – about 3% – of drink containers in its litter scheme. About 580 million drink containers are recycled in the state every year.
South Australia also is recycling and diverting from landfill about 80 per cent of our waste right across the board.
Projects relating to materials banned from landfill such as green organic matter collected by councils, plastic packaging, whole tyres, and vehicles past their use, have been prioritised.
The state’s waste and recycling sector employs almost 5,000 South Australians. The sector turns over $1 billion each year and contributes more than $500 million to Gross State Product.