The state government will implement a container refund scheme by 2022, Environment Minister Elise Archer announced in a budget estimates hearing on Thursday.
The government has been criticised for delays in legislating the scheme with three reports into the idea prepared since 2009.
Ms Archer said drink containers currently account for 41 per cent of litter by volume in Tasmania.
"The scheme will encourage positive, incentivised recycling and re-use behaviours that will help reach our target of becoming the tidiest state by 2023," Ms Archer said.
New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia have in place container deposit schemes which provide a refund of 10 cents per eligible container.
"The majority of Australian states and territories have successfully implemented a container refund scheme which allow for the exchange of containers at designated depots or reverse vending machines under various models," Ms Archer said.
A report prepared for the Environment Protection Authority last year found it would cost $239 million to run the scheme for 20 years.
Ms Archer said an expert reference group will be established to provide advice prior to legislating the scheme.
Once legislation is enacted, a tender process will be opened with the scheme to be implemented by 2022, she said.
Greens environment spokeswoman Dr Rosalie Woodruff welcomed the announcement with a "hallelujah" and said this is something the Greens had been seeking for a long time.
"I'm really pleased the government has finally listened to the overwhelming evidence as to how successful it will be," Dr Woodruff said.
Dr Woodruff cautioned the expert reference group should not be stacked with industry representatives to ensure the best refund scheme model was introduced.
The Local Government Association of Tasmania have also welcomed the announcement and said it looks forward to working with the government on the scope, design and implementation of the container scheme.
LGAT president and Clarence City Council mayor Doug Chipman said the local government sector had been advocating for a container refund scheme for a long time.
"Local government has been calling for action and leadership on waste and recycling," Cr Chipman said.
"We understand the state government remains committed to the release of a State Waste Action Plan by the end of June and look forward to understanding what further approaches they will take to tackle the myriad of waste management issues facing Tasmania."
Tasmanian Small Business Council chief executive Robert Mallett said, although there will be initial teething problems with the management of the scheme, the overall effect will be a cleaner and more pleasant Tasmania to live in and the provision of business opportunities.
"It is vital that key retailers and distributors are part of the expert reference group proposed to be set up to oversee the design and implementation," Mr Mallett said.
"To support its success, enterprises wishing to reprocess the salvaged containers on island should be given every assistance to ensure the system is a closed loop and the maximum benefits are gained for Tasmania."