Empty bottles that will be recycled

Alternative approaches submitted to government to improve the Container Deposit Scheme

Our Work | Case Study

2 Minute Read


Share Case Study

BottleCycler is an innovative Australian company that provides compact on-site glass bottle crushers to the hospitality industry which is reliable, easy to use, OH&S sound and economically viable.

The objectives of the Container Deposit Scheme did not explicitly consider recycling

In response to the NSW Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) Discussion Paper, BottleCycler sought to develop and present compelling alternative approaches to assist the NSW Government to identify the most appropriate CDS model that met the objectives for the Scheme at the same time as supporting Australian innovation.

The submission demonstrated alternative approaches for the design of the CDS that could achieve the policy objective and deliver wider economic, environmental and social benefits while encouraging rather than stymieing innovation.

Our submission proposed a new model to meet the Government’s criteria

Nous adopted a first principles approach to describing the objectives for the regulatory scheme and assessing the proposed approach. Our analysis demonstrated that broadening the objectives of the scheme would lead to more benefits across the whole industry.

We then designed a scheme that aligned to what the government was intending to achieve, drawing on our expertise in regulation. This specifically meant:

  • presenting recommendations to prioritise their objectives and address potentially conflicting goals
  • sharing insights into what incentives will help to shift peoples’ behaviour
  • providing clarity on the role of the government and the role of the industry.

An ‘Enhanced CDS Refund’ model was one of several proposed recommendations. This model explicitly focused on the Commercial and Industry sector and would lead to reduced costs in the overall system as it allowed alternate recyclers such as BottleCycler to deliver directly to the final collector.

Organisations like BottleCycler were included in the scheme

When the final design of the CDS was announced by the NSW Government they had allowed for organisations like BottleCycler to be included in the scheme. Incidentally, the submission also attracted the attention of large international organisations and allowed the company to increase its size and scope due to an international partnership.

What you can learn from BottleCycler

Policy submissions must clearly characterise the problem the government is trying to solve.

Submissions should provide suggestions and solutions that will enable objectives to be met.

Using a first principles approach can help organisations to understand the underlying policy objective and provide innovative alternatives to government for achieving that objective.