Central Coast residents are recycling at an extraordinary rate, with almost 380 million containers returned through the NSW Return and Earn scheme.
Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said more than $3.8 million in container refunds has been returned to residents since the scheme launched in 2017.
“Central Coast residents are huge supporters of the Return and Earn scheme and not only is it reducing the amount of plastic litter making its way into our beautiful Coast environment, it’s also money back into the pockets of residents and local charities,” Mr Crouch said.
“With 27 local return points, we know that Bateau Bay residents are some of the keenest recyclers on the Coast, having returned 27 million containers at the Bateau Bay Square site alone.
“It’s encouraging to see so many people throughout our region embracing the scheme and working to ensure cans and bottles don’t end up polluting our iconic waterways or in landfill.”
Since the start of the scheme, Return and Earn has contributed to a 52 per cent reduction in the volume of beverage container litter in NSW.
Minister for Environment James Griffin said one quarter of the containers returned on the Central Coast have been plastic drink containers.
“Return and Earn is a great example of communities working together to reduce litter and landfill while addressing the short lifecycle of plastic bottles,” Mr Griffin said.
“All plastic containers returned through the scheme’s network of return points are being reprocessed into new bottles and food-grade packaging right here in NSW. This means the bottle you recycled at your local Return and Earn machine can be back on the shelf at your local store in as little as six weeks.”
In addition to the environmental and economic benefits, the scheme is also providing an important fundraising stream for local charities.
Central Coast Rescue Squad is currently being featured as the local donation partner at the Bateau Bay Return and Earn machine. The charity, which provides rescue services for those in need, has raised more than $4700.
Return and Earn is a partnership between the NSW Government, Exchange for Change and TOMRA Cleanaway.