NSW container rebate scheme under fire

The NSW government has been forced to defend its controversial drink container deposit scheme in the face of accusations it's hurting small businesses who are facing compliance costs.

From December 1 there'll initially be 200 collection points - including reverse vending machines, cafes and service stations - under the scheme which aims to halve the number of bottles and cans being discarded.

Anyone who hands in eligible drink bottle containers can donate their 10-cent refund to charity or receive a refund into a registered PayPal account or in the form of a Woolworths retail voucher.

Labor on Wednesday asked Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton how the government would support small businesses incurring additional costs.

Ms Upton said businesses could contact the small business commissioner.

"Financial assistance is still available - we have a package of loans with no interest in order to smooth the transition," she told 2GB.

Chris McNamara from the Independent Brewers Association says consumers will face price hikes too - up to $4 on a carton of beer.

The cash goes to the Environment Protection Authority which registers the details of each container in order to comply with the recycling scheme.

"Some of these manufacturers have a variety of bottles and cans so it can become costly," Mr McNamara said.

He said eventually they would have to re-label bottles and cans when the government released a logo as part of the scheme.

Opposition leader Luke Foley criticised the December 1 start date because the government was unable to say how many machines were ready and where they'd be.

"The Return and Earn website is underwhelming for information about where the collection points area - because it doesn't offer any," Mr Foley said in a statement.

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