Ireland’s nationwide deposit return scheme targeting plastic drink bottles and aluminium cans has officially launched as of February 1st. Under this scheme, individuals purchasing a beverage packaged in containers displaying the Re-turn logo must pay a deposit, refundable upon returning the container empty and undamaged to a participating retailer.
Containers ranging from 150ml to 500ml carry a 15-cent deposit, while those between 500ml and 3 litres require a 25-cent deposit. The majority of registered retailers have already established deposit return points as part of the scheme, which is a key component of Ireland’s commitment to a circular economy outlined in the Programme for Government 2020.
Minister of State for Communications and the Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth, hailed the launch of the deposit return scheme as a landmark development for the Irish beverage industry. Smyth emphasized the potential of the scheme to significantly enhance recycling rates, reduce litter, and improve the environment.
The scheme is backed by positive consumer sentiment, with 82% expressing support for its introduction, and 95% intending to participate. Notably, 76% of consumers believe they can contribute to environmental preservation through recycling beverage containers.
However, while the majority of consumers welcome the scheme, some express concerns about its implementation. Research reveals that 29% of consumers lack confidence in navigating the scheme, while 36% cite storage space constraints for uncrushed containers as a challenge. Additionally, 17% cite complexity and time constraints as deterrents to participation.
Despite these challenges, the introduction of the deposit return scheme is widely perceived as a positive step towards incentivizing recycling and reducing waste. With high levels of consumer engagement anticipated, the scheme is poised to make a significant impact on Ireland’s environmental sustainability efforts.
Repurposed article originally published in the Circular Online