WMRR welcomes Queensland’s proposed expansion of the containers for change programme


8 November 2022


The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) welcomed today’s announcement by the Queensland government that it will consult on increasing the scope of the containers for change programme to include glass wine and spirit bottles.


Gayle Sloan, CEO said, ‘’Industry welcomes the proposed increase in scope, as we know that separation at source enables higher chances of material recovery. Placing more material in the successful containers scheme in Queensland (and in fact nationally), not only results in higher rates of recovery, but more money in the pocket of the community.’’ 


‘’As an industry we want to turn beverage containers back into beverage containers and the product stewardship schemes have demonstrated clearly that they do this.  NSW, ACT, Queensland and SA are to be congratulated for taking the lead on this initiative. This is a sensible reform that we hope that all jurisdictions will support, given the opportunity to move away from individual state-based schemes.’’


We know from all the recent community engagements across Australia, that there is overwhelming community support for increasing the scope of containers within these schemes.  It reduces confusion, increases returns to the community, creates jobs, assists charities and results in higher recovery rates. 


The inclusion of the expanded containers will ensure that greater responsibility is taken for the cost of managing end of life for all beverage containers, instead of some passing these costs on to the householder via council rates.  It will also assist in creating a level playing field for the beverage industry too- how does it make sense that craft brewers are included yet wine is not?


With container refund schemes soon to be in all states in Australia, we are lucky enough to have had years of evidence and experience to understand all the impacts that the scheme has on all in the supply chain.  WMRR genuinely hopes that those currently advocating not to be part of this scheme will get on board and be part of what is a proven world class scheme that recovers a high quality of material, rewards those in the community who do the right thing and return empty containers.


We have also seen huge investment in the last couple of years in glass recycling and remanufacturing in Australia, as a result we are dramatically increasing recycled content in beverage containers (as high as 70%).  The increase in scope means more high-quality recycled glass is in circulation- both of these initiatives means more green jobs.


WMRR calls on all states to follow the path of SA, NSW, ACT and Queensland to get on board with this expansion.  Ms Sloan said, “Haven’t we already learned that it is better for business and the community that all states take a standard approach to this important scheme?”


For editors

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) is the national peak body for all stakeholders in the waste and resource recovery industry. We have more than 2,000 members across the nation, representing a broad range of business organisations, the three (3) tiers of government, universities, and NGOs. 


Our members are involved in a range of important waste management and resource recovery activities within the Australian economy, including community engagement and education, infrastructure investment and operations, collection, manufacturing of valuable products from resource recovered materials, energy recovery, and responsible management of residual materials.


The waste and resource recovery industry is an essential industry for the community and continues to be a significant contributor to Australia’s economy and environment, contributing to Australia through:


  • a turnover of over $15 billion per annum;
  • employing 50,000 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) persons;
  • reducing the pressure to utilise depleted virgin resources;
  • extending the life cycle of manufactured products; and
  • improving industrial ecology.


WMRR's priority advocacy areas:

  • Facilitate investment in resource recovery and remanufacturing capacity.
  • Reform state regulatory frameworks to provide long-term certainty for investment in the sector.
  • Streamline and improve consistency and clarity in state regulatory frameworks.
  • Foster a common approach to landfill levies between states, including the reinvestment of at least 50% of funds raised from levies in the sector.
  • Improve responsiveness of regulatory frameworks to manage market adjustments.
  • Improve coordination between state government portfolios within and across state borders with the responsibility for the sector (at first instance, Planning and Environment). 
  • Promote the adoption of sustainable procurement principles and practices to all levels of governments. 
  • Support extended producer responsibility, product stewardship, and polluters-pay principles, and the role of the waste and resource recovery sector within it. 
  • Support the establishment of secondary and end markets for resource recovered materials. 
  • Improve national waste and resource recovery data to enable the identification, recovery, classification, treatment, disposal and monitoring of waste. 
  • Support all actions aimed at fair competition and the creation of a level playing field for all stakeholders. 
  • Foster the recognition of the role of the solid waste industry in carbon abatement.   recovery sector. ‘
  • Champion the success of individual professionals and organisations working in the waste and resource recovery sector.
  • Community engagement and education on waste minimisation and reduction.

Media enquiries

Name: Gayle Sloan

Contact: [email protected] / mobile: 0429076713