It is estimated that about 1.9 billion drinks bottles and cans are consumed each year in Ireland, in-house and ‘on the go’. The Deposit Return Scheme aims to boost the recycling rate for these drinks containers by charging a small, refundable deposit for each plastic bottle or can. The Scheme will include PET plastic bottles and aluminium and steel cans between 150ml and 3 litres. A deposit of 15c will apply to containers 500mls or less and a deposit of 25c for each container above 500ml.
The Scheme will be operated by Deposit Return Scheme Ireland CLG, trading as Re-turn, who were appointed in May 2022. All producers and retailers are legally obliged to register with Re-turn. Registration is open at re-turn.ie. The Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) encourages people to recycle drink containers. It works by charging anyone who buys a drink a small deposit for the plastic bottle or can that it comes in. Customers get this money back when they return the container to a retailer or other collection point to be recycled. The Deposit Return Scheme is a major project involving the development of complex IT, infrastructure and communication systems, which will be delivered by Re-turn over the course of 2023. The Department of Environment, Climate, and Communications will work closely with Re-turn on the implementation of the Scheme, which will start immediately with the registration of producers and retailers. The planned ‘go-live’ date for consumers is February 2024.