BRING out both your empty drink bottles and cans and make them worth valuable dollars to help our rural families struggling with drought and bushfires. 

Reverse vending machine company TOMRA has launched the nationwide appeal, Bottles for the Bush, with the aim of raising this summer $250,000 for the charity Rural Aid which is dedicated to supporting rural communities in need.

The funds raised will go towards the delivery of hay, water, livestock feed and food supplies - giving relief to families doing it tough over the Christmas and New Year period.

TOMRA recycling locations can be found through Return and Earn in NSW and Containers for Change in QLD.

Recyclers in NSW, QLD and NT will have the option to donate their container refund via all TOMRA recycling machines by simply selecting Bottles for the Bush, with Rural Aid the recipient of 10 cents per eligible bottle or can.

TOMRA is urging people to spare a thought for struggling rural communities by selecting the donation option over claiming the refund on their containers themselves. 

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said that the success of the Government’s Return and Earn program in tackling litter means more support to farmers during the drought.
NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said that the success of the Government’s Return and Earn program in tackling litter means more support to farmers during the drought.

"With 99 per cent of NSW officially in drought and 53 per cent of the State already in high fire danger, we felt compelled to do our bit for those living in areas most impacted," TOMRA president Australia, Ryan Buzzell said. 

"If we can encourage people to donate some of their drink containers in our cities, and thereby provide much needed funds to our farmers and rural communities, that's going to make a positive difference."

Rural Aid Spokesperson Craig Marsh said he was grateful to TOMRA for supporting Rural Aid's work assisting our farmers and rural communities who are struggling, on many levels, through this record-breaking drought.

"Many of us living in a thriving city environment can find it difficult to comprehend the extent of the drought," Mr Marsh said.

"The realities of Australia's harsh conditions and natural disasters are devastating for our farmers on many levels.

"It's not only the farmers that are affected - businesses, both large and small, that support the farmers and the rural communities also feel the economic effects."  

The campaign runs until February 23.


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