Return and Earn scheme making a difference across Hastings

Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton with Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams.
Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton with Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams.

NSW litter has dropped by 37 per cent since 2013 and Return and Earn is responsible for a one third reduction in its type of drink container litter, according to new figures released by Keep Australia Beautiful.

The figures show total litter volume has reduced by 37 per cent from 2013-14 which means the state is three per cent off its litter volume reduction target.

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

“Locally our community has embraced the Return and Earn scheme with more than 3.4 million containers collected at the four Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) locations in Port Macquarie and Lake Cathie,” Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said.

A breakdown of figures shows that as of Monday, August 6, collections results are:

  • 201,898 collected at Lake Cathie Woolworths RVM
  • 332,631 collected at Lake Innes Village RVM
  • 398,771 collected at Growers Market RVM
  • 2,523,169 collected at Settlement City RVM

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 December 1.

On average three million containers a day are being collected at return points.  More than 560 million containers have been processed by Return and Earn so far and as more collection points are rolled out, these results can only increase and the amount of litter will decrease.

The NSW Government’s commitment of $30 million to 2021 to reduce litter and littering behaviour through the Waste Less Recycle More initiative is having the right effect.

“I will continue to advocate for more RVMs to be installed at other locations throughout the Port Macquarie electorate and I encourage our local residents to keep up the great work of using this valuable service which ultimately plays a huge part in reducing litter in our community,” Mrs Williams said.


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