The container return scheme: is it under threat before it gets started?
A container return scheme (abbreviated ‘CRS’) means beverage containers – like bottles, cans and tetrapaks – carry a small, refundable deposit that people pay when they buy a drink and then get back when they return the empty drink container to be recycled or reused. It is sometimes called a “bottle deposit”. A CRS creates an incentive for drinks containers to be returned once they’re empty. Right now, about half of the 2.36 billion drinks bottles and cans New Zealanders use each year end up in landfill or the natural environment.

What’s happening with the CRS?
First of all, there is massive public support for a CRS. But we are really concerned because vested interest groups are seeking to derail CRS at the eleventh hour. There is some fierce opposition we need to overcome from a most unlikely quarter – a section of the industries that make, use and recycle glass. We know if a refund scheme is to work here in Aotearoa then collecting glass is a must.

What can you do?
We need organisations to put their name and voice to our open letter to Minister David Parker for a Container Return Scheme that:covers all beverages and material types (including glass) puts local communities at the heart of the scheme; and helps to increase refillable/reusable bottles. To put your organisation’s name to the Open Letter, please email Val at with your organisation name and logo.

Want more info on CRS?
Container return scheme: An option for reducing litter and wasteto landfill – Ministry for the Environment
Container Return Scheme page from our website talks about what we want to see in a scheme
Glass Packaging Forum threatens container return scheme recent Greenpeace article
The Kiwi Bottle Drive