NOTE: There is no action required at this present time until the Queensland Government have published the Waste Reduction and Recycling (Expansion of Container Refund Scheme and Other Matters) Amendment Regulation 2023 (“the Regulation”), which we expect to happen in August 2023. COEX will actively contact you via email or phone to onboard your business. COEX are advising members NOT register as new beverage manufacturers via their online portal at this stage. They have a new webpage that will go live once the Queensland Government publish the Regulation.
In April 2023 the Queensland Government announced it was expanding its Container Refund Scheme to include wine and spirit bottles from 1 November 2023. This is the first state in Australia to approve the inclusion of wine and spirit containers, marking a major shift in the previous long held policy of the programs. All other states currently still exempt wine containers from their schemes.
Despite our best efforts to defer or delay the Queensland state government implementation of this expansion in favour of an alternative that leads to better environmental outcomes or at the very least obtain agreement on a harmonised national scheme for all state/territories, Queensland is forging ahead with the 1 November 2023 commencement.
Australian Grape & Wine has been working with the Queensland Government and other impacted stakeholders to seek to clarify the elements of the regulation. While there remain a number of uncertainties we felt it was important to raise the issue with Australian wine producers who will bear the burden and cost nationally of this state government lead initiative. Our previous media release following the announcement of the scheme is available here.
Glass wine bottles (150ml up to 3L) will become eligible for a 10c refund in Queensland from 1 November 2023.
Glass wine bottles sold into Queensland will need to contain a barcode and a refund mark.
The transition period contained in the draft regulation was 13 months (i.e. businesses are to have the refund mark and barcodes on all wine bottles sold into Queensland by 1 January 2025) however, Australian Grape & Wine and other stakeholders provided strong advice to the department that the transition period needs to be much longer – at least 3 years. We do not know whether that advice has been accepted and incorporated into the final version of the regulations.
Noting that below is subject to change following the publication of the Regulation, below is what we currently know from the initial draft:
The container must clearly and legibly display the refund mark, which includes information about the refund and where people can go to get the refund. There is no prescribed copy to be used, however the most common wording is:
10c REFUND AT COLLECTION DEPOTS/POINTS IN PARTICIPATING STATE/TERRITORY OF PURCHASE
Beverage manufacturers will be required to report beverage sales into Queensland in arrears, either monthly, quarterly, or annually (depending on the number of units manufactured) and COEX will invoice based on those reports.
The current scheme price for glass bottles is 13.9 cents each, including the refund amount of 10 cents and an administrative fee and has been at that rate since 1 August 2020. The next COEX pricing review will be announced in the month of October 2023.
The deadline for registration as a new beverage manufacturer is 31 October 2023 but you do not need to do anything now. COEX will contact beverage manufacturers via email or phone once the regulation is published to onboard your business.
COEX will stand up a dedicated beverage manufacturer call centre for onboarding beverage manufacturers– these details will be provided to members once established.
For further information please visit the Container Exchange and scroll down to the FAQs at the bottom of the page (noting these FAQs will be added to once the Regulation is published) or email email@example.com with any specific questions.