On 1 February, Ireland will introduce its deposit return scheme (DRS), whereby new legislation will enforce a 15c deposit on 150-500ml plastic bottles and aluminium/steel cans and 25c on bottles and cans that contained upwards of 500ml of drinks.
Under the DRS, when a customer buys a drink in a plastic bottle or aluminium/steel can that features the Re-turn logo, s/he pays a small deposit in addition to the price of the drink and returns the empty, undamaged container to any retail outlet, getting the deposit back in full.
Retailers can refund the deposit in cash or against a customer’s other purchases.
According to the Re-turn website, deposit return schemes have proven very successful, internationally, in reducing litter.
By placing a monetary value on drinks containers, there is an incentive for consumers to return them, rather than discard them.
Any retailer that sells drinks in plastic bottles and steel/aluminium cans is obliged to accept them for return under the DRS – whether or not the containers were purchased from that retailer – and some retailers, like Lidl, have already started advertising the service, to prepare customers for the process.
Only plastic bottles and aluminium/steel cans that feature the Re-turn logo will be accepted in the DRS machines – to easily identify what is included in the scheme – and their bar codes must be clearly visible.
Glass, Tetra Pak, and dairy product containers will not be accepted.
Read More: The Deposit Return Scheme Made Easy