Studies into Container Refund Schemes

​​In recent years, there has been considerable focus on container refund schemes (CRS) at both the State and National level. They are also known as container deposit systems (CDS) and several studies have been conducted to assess how such a scheme could work in Tasmania.

2018 - A Model Framework for a Container Refund Scheme in Tasmania​

Marsden Jacob Associates (MJA) were engaged to undertake the study and provide a report to the State Government. 

  A Model Framework for a Container Refund Scheme in Tasmania   (5Mb)

​The report concluded that an appropriate Container Recovery Scheme (CRS) for Tasmania should include the following characteristics:

  • Common features with other jurisdictions including eligible containers and deposit amount.
  • CRS to be run by a single co-ordinator and operator set up as a product stewardship organisation (PSO).
  • The PSO to be overseen by a Board of Directors that is representative of the industry but ensures access to relevant expertise.
  • Transparent responsibilities and performance objectives of the PSO to be set out in the enabling legislation.
  • Redemption and access targets should be established in the regulations:
  • Target at least 60 refund points
  • Target a redemption rate of at least 80%
  • Graduated sanctions for failing to meet those targets.
  • Let the market determine operational details of the system.
  • Verifiable auditing and tracking systems required to ensure objectives and targets are met.
  • Allow 18 months to set up scheme.
  • Potential cost savings to local councils.
  • Total funding requirement of the scheme over 20 years of $239 million of which $138 million are refunded deposits.  Real costs of running the scheme are about $101 million or around 4c per eligible container.
  • Nominal price impacts on consumers who don't redeem containers start at around 10 cents per container and rise over time to about 16 cents per container.   Cost impacts on consumers who redeem containers (price impact less refund) start at around 0 cents per container and rise to about 6 cents per container.
  • Beverage container litter falls by approximately 50% with a redemption rate of 80%.

2014 - Cost benefit analysis for a Tasmanian Container Deposit System​

Marsden Jacob Associates were contracted by the Department to undertake a ‘desktop’ cost benefit analysis.

The key findings of the Tasmanian analysis were that while there are some benefits to a State-based CDS, in the absence of national action, these would come at a significant cost.  Litter rates of beverage containers would decrease, and there would be benefits to Local Government; however, the cost to industry (and probably to Tasmanian consumers as industry passes on increased costs) would be a net cost to Tasmania of $86 million (NPV) over 21 years.

  Cost Benefit Study of a Tasmanian Container Deposit System - Final Report   (1Mb)

At the time, the decision was not to proceed with the introduction of a State-based CDS system, but rather continue active participation in other national action underway at the time, for example, the national Packaging Impacts Study​

​2009 - Feasibility Study for Container Deposit System​

In June 2004 the Tasmanian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Environment, Resources and Development commenced an investigation into Waste Management in Tasmania.

The Committee's final report included a recommendation that the State Government introduce a container deposit system (CDS) in Tasmania, subject to its viability and effectiveness being supported by a cost-benefit analysis.

In December 2008 the Department contracted environmental consulting firm, Hyder Consulting Pty Ltd, to study the best model for a CDS in Tasmania, should one be introduced. Hyder's Final Report examined container deposit systems in Australia and overseas, and assessed options for a Tasmanian system.

The report concluded that a ‘hybrid’ CDS built around the most effective elements of existing interstate and overseas systems had the potential to improve recovery of beverage containers in Tasmania. However, the report also demonstrated that going alone and  establishing and operating a CDS would be a complex and challenging process requiring very careful consideration by the community and the State Government.

  Feasibility Study of a Container Deposit System for Tasmania   (1Mb)



Container Refund Scheme
Policy and Business Branch
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 4599

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