As NSW celebrates the major new Return and Earn milestone of 11 billion containers recycled, Willoughby locals have millions of reasons to join in the celebrations, having recycled an incredible 26 million bottles, cans and cartons through our local return points.


The Liberals and Nationals in government commenced the scheme around six years ago. Mark Speakman was the Environment Minister who oversaw the legislation and said at the time “giving people a financial incentive to do the right thing will benefit everyone”. Since its introduction, the scheme has surpassed all expectations, with more than a billion dollars in container refunds back into people’s pockets and almost a million tonnes of materials recycled.


Charities and local community groups and schools are also benefitting from the scheme, with $54 million raised statewide for hundreds of charities and community groups via donated refunds and return point hosting fees.


In Willoughby the collective recycling efforts are making a difference. The positive impact of recycling containers into new containers rather than using virgin materials is equivalent to:

  • Energy savings equal to the average annual use of 277 households’
  • CO2 emissions avoided equal to taking 1181 cars off the road for a year
  • Water savings that could fill 62 Olympic swimming pools


With all plastic and glass drink containers collected through the network recycled in Australia, Return and Earn has led to a 54% reduction in drink container litter since pre-scheme levels and become a leading contributor to our growing domestic circular economy.


For more information about Return and Earn or to find your nearest return point visit www.returnandearn.org.au 



Quotes attributable to Member for Willoughby Tim James:


"Congratulations to the Willoughby community for making Return and Earn part of your regular routine. Your enthusiastic participation is playing an important role in growing our domestic circular economy and achieving a more sustainable future.”


“I’m pleased to have enhanced access to this scheme through the delivery of two additional collection points to the Willoughby area – one on Penshurst St, Willoughby, the other on Willoughby Rd, Naremburn - and will continue to find opportunities for further expansion.”


“Recycling your eligible bottles, cartons and cans through Return and Earn is an easy way for all of us to help the environment and support the work of some amazing local charities.”



Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Environment Kellie Sloane:


“Return and Earn is a great environmental success story – and one that whole communities can participate in and be rewarded by.”


“I love seeing enterprising children making some extra pocket money through this service, while building foundational habits around recycling and waste reduction. It’s a win-win.”


“I’m thrilled to see that six years or so after its introduction by the coalition Government, it’s become a way of life for so many local households.”