ACT Container Deposit Scheme

The ACT Container Deposit Scheme (ACT CDS) has been successful in reducing litter in the ACT environment. The scheme has also become a mainstay of fundraising for schools, charities and community groups.

Cool Australia and the ACT CDS have developed a suite of curriculum-linked resources for ACT teachers that support schools’ participation in the scheme and enables teachers to discuss the environmental benefits of the ACT CDS as part of their sustainability lessons.

Early Learning, Foundation and Primary Education Resources

Different Containers
– Early Learning

Children interact with a range of materials and consider the properties of materials used in packaging and container packaging. They explore what materials can be recycled including what can be recycled with the ACT Container Deposit Scheme (ACT CDS).

Cleaning the Environment
– Early Learning

Children explore some of the ways waste can be harmful for plants and animals in our environment. They consider how plants and animals might think and feel about waste and litter, before working together to clean up the waste. They make connections with the importance of recycling.

What’s it made of? – Science
– Foundation, Years 1 & 2

Students explore the properties of different materials and what these materials are used for. They begin by looking at the properties of common classroom objects before thinking about the other places the materials in these objects are used, including in container packaging.

Rethinking Waste – Design and Tech – Years 3 & 4

Students are challenged to rethink what is meant by the term ‘waste’. They begin by defining waste and recycling, before categorising items as either landfill, recyclable and/or eligible for the ACT Container Deposit Scheme (CDS).

Exchanging for Good –
Mathematics – Years 3 & 4

In this lesson, students explore how to recycle eligible drink containers for a 10c refund through the ACT container deposit scheme (ACT CDS). They consider ways to use this money to benefit the community. Finally, they practise map-reading skills by investigating the locations of ACT CDS return points around the ACT.

Conscious Consumer Decision Tees – HASS – Years 5 & 6

Students will begin by viewing a UN video on stopping hazards from becoming disasters. They will then rotate through four STEM building challenges related to floods, storms/cyclones, earthquakes, and landslides/avalanches. 

Fundraising Through the CDS – HASS – Years 5 & 6

These activities are designed to assist in the recovery of communities that have experienced a disaster or traumatic event. Creative recovery is where students and the community respond to and process disasters using arts and culture.

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With Thanks to Our Partner

The ACT Container Deposit Scheme (ACT CDS) was introduced by the ACT Government in 2018 as a litter reduction initiative. Participants collect and return their eligible drink containers at an ACT CDS return point for a 10 cent refund on each. For further information about the ACT CDS, please visit


© 2021 ACT Container Deposit Scheme (ACT CDS) and Cool Australia

Cool Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to land, water and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and to Elders past, present and emerging.