In recent weeks, we’ve received feedback from numerous members expressing concerns about their potential participation in the Deposit Return Scheme. Some are worried about space constraints, both inside and outside their stores, which may hinder the installation of reverse vending machines or the storage of manual returns. Please review the details below regarding exemption criteria and the responsibilities of exempt retailers.

How can smaller retailers qualify for an exemption from the Deposit Return Scheme?

As the DRS may impact disproportionally on smaller retailers who may find it challenging to provide a takeback facility and storage for the return of empty in-scope bottles/containers. Physical space constraints, in addition to potential modification to smaller retail outlets may be cost prohibitive for some smaller retailers.  Best practice in other jurisdictions allow for a range of exemptions based on store size.

What are the criteria that retailers must meet to qualify for an exemption from the Deposit Return Scheme?

Re-turn has made the decision to offer retail outlets with a store space of 250 square meters or less the opportunity to request a Take Back exemption during the registration process. However, retailers seeking this exemption must also adhere to the DRS Regulations by:

  • Displaying a Take Back exemption notice for consumers within their store.
  • Prominently showcasing a QR code locator visible to all customers, helping them find the nearest Deposit Return Point.

Next Steps for qualifying retailers

Deposit Return Scheme Exemption Application Process

Step 1: Register (Register Here)

Step 2: Once you begin the registration online application when asked “If you wish to apply for a Take Back exemption based category of retailer and under what exemption criteria you are seeking” choose one of the following:

  • Retailer store size of less than or equal to 250 sq meters
  • Hotel, Restaurant or Pub and Cafes
  • Online Retailer
  • Vending machine operator