Deposit Return Scheme

Ireland’s New Deposit Return Scheme

As you may be aware Ireland will soon be introducing the Deposit Return Scheme and with so much information within the Sector we found it important to ensure that our members have all the correct and relevant information to help keep you informed during the roll out of this new scheme.

What is the Deposit Return Scheme?

The Deposit Return Scheme is a refundable deposit for retailers that is placed on plastic bottles, aluminum or steel cans that feature the Re-turn logo, which is then refunded to the consumer when they return their bottles and cans for recycling. The aim of a DRS is to increase recycling rates and reduce drinks container litter. Described as a ‘circular economy initiative’, the Scheme aims to incentivize consumers to recycle single use containers.

The scheme will help to tackle the estimated one billion plastic bottles and 1.6 million aluminium cans that are thought to currently end up in landfills/incinerators or littered in the environment (Source: Voice Ireland).

What does this mean for Retailers?

In February 2024, when you (retailers) buy a drink in a plastic bottle, aluminum or steel can that feature the Re-turn logo, you pay a small deposit in addition to the price of the drink. When customers return the empty, undamaged container to any retail outlet, you (retailers) get your deposit back in full.

What do Retailers need to do now?

Registration is now open for all retailers whether you decide to have a manual return point, reverse vending machine. For those retailers planning to use reverse vending equipment, start thinking about where a machine could go in the store. We’re also excited to announce our exciting partnership with Dubco Ireland! This collaboration is aimed at helping our members to take advantage of the Green Business Loan, a fantastic opportunity to secure financing for reverse vending equipment. Stay tuned more information coming soon.

When does the Deposit Return Scheme start?

The Deposit Return Scheme will go live on 1 February, 2024.

Benefits of the Deposit Return Scheme

Convenient for Customers: With return points all across Ireland, returning Re-turn drinks containers couldn’t be easier. Anywhere that sells drinks with the Re-turn logo, must accept your (customer) empty, undamaged containers and refund your deposit in cash or against other purchases.

Communities Together: Recycling is one of the most effective actions we can take as individuals and communities to tackle climate change. Working together with a common purpose, we can protect our communities and create a healthy and positive footprint for future generations.

Protecting our Environment: Internationally, Deposit Return Schemes have proven very successful in reducing litter. By placing a monetary value on these drinks’ containers, there is more incentive for consumers to return them, rather than littering our environment.

Circular Economy Initiative: As a circular economy initiative, the new Deposit Return Scheme aims to move away from the ‘take make and dispose’ culture to one of returning valuable materials, and keeping them in the economy for as long as possible.

It is a legal obligation for all retailers to register for the Deposit Return Scheme by October 30th.