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Some 95% Of People Plan To Engage With Deposit Return Scheme

By Sarah O'Sullivan
Some 95% Of People Plan To Engage With Deposit Return Scheme

Some 95% of consumers have said that they plan on engaging with the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), with 82% saying that they support the introduction thereof.

This comes from new research by Amárach – carried out on behalf of Re-turn – to reveal consumer attitudes towards the scheme, ahead of its launch on 1 February.

Deposit Return Scheme

The DRS is a government scheme that will see a refundable deposit of 15c or 25c added to PET plastic and aluminium and steel can drinks containers with the Re-turn logo on them.

Once the empty and undamaged containers are returned – either through reverse vending machines (RVMs) or at the checkout – customers will be issued a voucher that can be used against their next shop or returned for a cash refund.


Over four in five (82%) of those surveyed said that the introduction of the refundable deposit will incentivise them to engage in the scheme, while 38% believe that the DRS will impact their purchasing decisions.

Behavioural Change

Speaking on the data, the chief executive of Re-turn, Ciaran Foley, said, “The positive feedback on the introduction of deposit return has been really encouraging.

“We appreciate that this is a big behavioural change and are delighted to see that we have such support.”

The survey also revealed that 94% of people consider the impact that their recycling behaviours will have on future generations.


This, combined with over three in four people (76%) believing that they, as individuals, can make a difference by recycling drinks containers, tracks with support for the scheme.

Future Generations

Foley said, “It is also very interesting to note how many of those surveyed are concerned about the impact of their recycling behaviour on future generations.”

The EU has set Ireland a target to separate and collect 77% of plastic beverage bottles by 2025. This target will increase to 90% in 2029.

“We have no doubt that Ireland will embrace this change,” said Foley, “and support our efforts to achieve EU recycling targets and reduce litter and waste.”


Ireland’s current recycling rate for drinks containers is approximately 60%. The DRS is a proven method of increasing this rate and has already had great success in other European countries, such as Norway and Sweden.

The Survey

To provide baseline information on the public’s acceptance of Ireland’s national deposit return scheme and on behaviours and attitudes towards recycling, Re-turn commissioned Amárach Research to conduct a nationally representative online survey.

The fieldwork for this research was completed in November 2023. A 30-question online survey was conducted through the Amárach online research panel (nationally representative, aged 18+, 1,000 survey respondents).

Read More: Deposit Return Scheme – What Customers Need To Know

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