Woolworths and Aldi to participate in ‘return and earn’ scheme


Updated to reflect Aldi’s involvement with the scheme: 16:15 AEST 11 October 2017

Supermarket giants Woolworths and Aldi have announced they will help support the delivery of the NSW Government’s sustainability initiative aimed at reducing litter in the state.

Woolworths has become the first ‘return and earn’ retail partner under the scheme and will host up to 180 refund collection points at supermarkets across the state.

“This retail partnership means the scheme will be accessible and easy for people to return their empty containers and receive their refund,” said Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton.

“This is the first step in rolling out more than 500 collection points across NSW – the roll out of reverse vending machines as part of a state-wide scheme is a first for Australia.”

The initiative dubbed Return and Earn Container Deposit Scheme (CDS), which is set to be launched on December 1, aims to halve the number of bottles and cans thrown away in parks, beaches and waterways.

Under the CDS, consumers will be able to return eligible beverage containers for recycling in exchange for a 10 cent refund.

In a statement to Inside Retail, Aldi said it was “committed to supporting initiatives such as the CDS and look forward to participating in the largest litter reduction initiative in NSW.”

Aldi will participate by selling containers that are eligible for a refund via network operator TOMRA’s collection points at Woolworths supermarkets.

Anyone who hands in eligible drink bottle containers to kiosks at designated sites across the state can choose to donate their 10 cent refund to selected charities or receive the refund via a registered account.

“This agreement will provide customers with convenient reverse vending machine locations where they can drop off their containers and then redeem their vouchers at a nearby Woolworths supermarket,” TOMRA Collection Strategy & Business Development Director Markus Fraval said. The participating Woolworths store locations will be finalised in the coming weeks.

Under the arrangement, customers will be able to use a credit voucher from the kiosks towards their shopping at Woolworths or redeem their cash in stores.

Woolworths FoodCo managing director Steve Greentree said the retailer was committed to supporting initiatives that help improve and protect the environment.

“The agreement with TOMRA Cleanaway will ensure consumers have the option to support this NSW state government sustainability initiative, with convenient locations to return their containers and claim their refund,” Greentree said on Monday.

The exact locations of the kiosk will be announced closer to the launch.

Access exclusive analysis, locked news and reports with Inside Retail Weekly. Subscribe today and get our premium print publication delivered to your door every week.



  1. tony comyn posted on November 21, 2017

    I live at Scotts Head.Will Woolworths at Macksville and or Nambucca Heads have reverse depot s at their stores? reply

  2. ann clay blackbutt nsw posted on December 2, 2017

    Woolworth Shellharbour were charging 75cents for woolies mineral water. Yesterday the price had shot up to 90cents, what a rip-off! How can they charge 10cents plus 5cents profit for Woolworths when there is nowhere to deposit your returns. I call this extortion. reply

  3. Wayne Strudwick posted on December 5, 2017

    What a ripoff someone is making a healthy profit no collection points at Dubbo, a major city what is going on reply

  4. Sandra Worden posted on December 5, 2017

    Aldi at Fairy Meadow are now charging an extra 15cents on their bottles of soda water to compensate for the Return and Earn system. They were 69cents and they have now increased the price to 85cents. We get 10cents refund. Why is there an extra 6cents increase? reply

  5. David posted on December 9, 2017

    Since last week, prices on all containers within the “return and earn” scheme have been raised up to 16c by all supermarkets. This mean that we, “the customer/consumer”, are the one that really funding the scheme not the government or the supermarkets. This is another rip-off by the government. reply

  6. Beth posted on December 21, 2017

    Soft drink and water bottles purchased from Aldi were rejected for the refund. When I questioned why they said they weren't purchased in NSW. They were purchased at Rosehill Aldi in NSW. Aldi have not answered my email to them. I no longer purchase these items at Aldi. reply

  7. Mike Leask posted on January 3, 2018

    The wholesale cost of products has gone up 10 cents to cover manufacturers added CDS tax. Retailers don't work for free, so they make a 50% mark up on the additional cost. That equates to 15cents. Did people honestly think the scheme was going to be funded from thin air?? Of course the prices would increase to reflect the added cost! Money doesn't grow on trees and taxes are ultimately paid by tax payers and Consumers! reply

  8. Leigh posted on January 11, 2018

    This system has been in Canada, and not only do you only get charged what you will be refunded, it has to be documented as such when purchased. You also get different amounts depending upon the size of the container, and there are independent depots where you can return bottles as well as supermarkets. So Mike Leask, your sarcastic response is nonsense. There is no need for the retailer to make a 50% mark up on a deposit! Their staff don't work any more hours - it sounds like bottles are fed into a machine. Pretty sure most people could manage this. Woolworths is taking advantage, full stop. No way their costs equal anywhere near what they will pull in by adding five cents to every bottle purchased. reply

  9. fred posted on January 15, 2018

    In what noddy land do we as members of the Australian public live if think this scheme would work effectively. It was thought up by, and implemented by the halfwits we have in government. The parasites who run woolies, coles and the rest are not happy with the billions they make each year and have seen this as another place to make money with the consent and support of the government. If the banks are no longer allowed to charge 'fees' above what is required to cover the costs of atm and inter institutional transfers, how many years will it take for our pollies to get off their fat superannuated backsides and do something for the people and stomp on this blatant cash grab. The cash back centres will be getting most of that refund spent in their shops anyway. The million dollar CEOs are laughing all the way to the bank again as they are allowed to gouge the consumer with the assistance of the government. reply

Comment Manually

I have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Inside Retail Polls

Retail Outlook 2019
How are trading conditions for you in 2019?


Coles has reported sales growth of 3.1 per cent at its first half-year results, but the costs of a restructure had… https://t.co/UVRzhbitNM

9 mins ago

Retailer offers attractive benefits in bid to retail talent. https://t.co/S47QTRVohJ

3 hours ago

Sussan Group thanks customers for helping it raise $9 million for charity, helping people with issues surrounding b… https://t.co/pT8WdZTREA

6 hours ago

FREE NEWS BRIEFS Get breaking news delivered