Recycling and waste

Container deposit scheme

South Australia's container deposit scheme was introduced in 1977 and has been very effective for reducing litter, increasing resource recovery and reducing waste going to landfill.

The deposit on beverage containers is 10 cents. A 10 cent refund is available on most beverage containers sold in South Australia, but always check the label for the refund marking, it tells you if it has a deposit.

It is illegal to return beverage containers sold outside of South Australia for a refund.

Drink containers in the scheme

Beverages in containers of less than one litre that have a 10 cent deposit are:

  • flavoured milks
  • fruit juices.

Beverages in containers up to and including three litres that have a 10 cent deposit are:

  • water – plain, still or carbonated or any other water for human consumption
  • carbonated soft (non alcoholic) drinks
  • non carbonated soft drinks including but not limited to:
    • vitamin drinks
    • sport drinks
    • iced teas
  • alcoholic beverages derived from the fermentation of fruit (cider)
  • beers/ales/stouts
  • flavoured alcoholic beverages with a wine or spirit base (RTDs).

Exempt drink containers

Plain milk in all container types and wine and spirits in glass containers remain outside the scheme. Pure fruit juice and flavoured milk in containers of one litre or more are also exempt.

Please contact the Environment Protection Authority if you are unsure about which beverage containers can be returned for a refund.

Collection depots

To find your nearest collection depot, see the list of collection depots on the EPA website.

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Page last updated 29 November 2016

Provided by:
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
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