The Deposit Return Scheme is a key commitment of the Programme for Government 2020, and is a fundamental building block of a circular economy. About 5 million drinks are consumed in single-use containers in Ireland each day. As well as boosting recycling rates, the Deposit Return Scheme will significantly reduce the number of bottles and cans being littered or sent to landfill or incineration.
From today, 1 February 2024, when you buy a drink in a plastic bottle or aluminium can with the Re-turn logo, you will pay a small deposit in addition to the price of the drink. When you return your empty, undamaged drinks container to any participating retail outlet, you get your deposit back in full. A deposit of 15 cents will apply to containers from 150ml to 500mls, while a deposit of 25 cents will apply to containers between 500ml and 3 litres.
Welcoming the launch of the new scheme, Minister of State with responsibility for Communications and the Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth said:
"I am delighted to launch our national Deposit Return Scheme today. This is an exciting, new initiative which will boost recycling rates, greatly reduce litter, and improve the environment. It will get bottles and cans off our roadsides and beaches and contribute to the circular economy by turning waste drinks containers into new bottles and cans.
"We know deposit return schemes work — they operate effectively in over 40 countries around the world, including 15 in Europe, where the average EU collection rate is 92%. By giving these containers a financial value, it incentivises consumers to return them. I think people in Ireland will really get behind this scheme and make it a great success; we saw this with the introduction of the plastic bag levy and the Euro.