Aldi today announced an investment of €15 million ahead of the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), launching on 1 February.
The retailer has installed reverse vending machines (RVMs) in all 161 of its Irish stores.
The company announced the investment as part of its continued commitment to environmental sustainability, after it was voted Ireland’s most sustainable supermarket in 2023.
The Deposit Return Scheme
The DRS is a national programme that will add a refundable deposit of 15c or 25c, depending on the size, to beverages purchased in plastic bottles or steel or aluminium cans of a 150ml-3L capacity.
Empty undamaged containers with the Re-turn logo and a visible bar code can be returned for a voucher.
Customers can then redeem the voucher at the checkout for a cash refund, or to offset the cost of their next shop.
The retailer’s installation of RVMs in every store will include 71 external machines.
The machines will issue vouchers to be redeemed at the checkout.
As part of the DRS, any retailer that sells ‘in scope’ products must facilitate a return, whether at the checkout or with an RVM.
Any store unable to do so will be required to inform customers of their nearest drop-off point.
Containers can be returned to any participating store, but the voucher must be redeemed in the returning store.
The scheme launches on 1 February, and drinks purchased after that time with the Re-turn logo will be eligible for return.
The roll-out of RVMs in Aldi comes after a successful trial in its Mitchelstown store, in which monthly proceeds were donated to Aldi’s charity partner, Barnardos.
Speaking on the announcement, Aldi Ireland's managing director of buying and services, Colin Breslin, said, “We are delighted here at Aldi to be a part of this scheme, which aligns with our pursuit of waste reduction and nurturing a circular economy.”
Ossian Smyth, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, welcomed the news of Aldi’s investment.
“I am delighted how the installation of infrastructure is gaining pace around the country,” Smyth said of the scheme.
“The Deposit Return Scheme, trading as Re-turn, is becoming a bricks-and-mortar reality, and in good time for our go-live date in February 2024.”