Deposit Return Scheme Transition Deadline – Ireland Set To Hit 150m Containers Returned

By Sarah O'Sullivan
Deposit Return Scheme Transition Deadline – Ireland Set To Hit 150m Containers Returned

Consumers are on track to return 150 million drinks containers as part of the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), once the transition period ends today, Friday 31 May.

Re-turn, the company implementing the scheme, projects that the number of containers returned since it began – on 1 February – will reach 150 million by tonight.

The four-month transition period has allowed retailers to sell old stock, i.e. without the Re-turn logo, to prevent waste.

From tomorrow, 1 June, all drinks containers that are eligible for the scheme can legally only be sold with the Re-turn logo and the deposit applied.

When the scheme began, retailers were given four months’ notice to sell any remaining non-logoed and non-deposit stock.


As of 30 May, 149.8 million drinks containers had been returned as part of the circular-economy scheme.

The DRS has averaged 2.5 million returns per day in May – a significant increase from the two million containers returned in the entire month of February.

‘Important Steps’

Speaking about the scheme so far, the chief executive of Re-turn, Ciaran Foley, said, “Our goal has been to ensure a smooth transition period as we launch the scheme in its fullest form.

“We are delighted to see the growth to date in the average numbers of containers returned, and we expect to see this continue as we move out of the transition period.

“The cooperation of producers, retailers, and the public has significantly contributed to the success of Ireland’s Deposit Return Scheme so far.


“Together, we are taking important steps towards a more sustainable future.”


As this transitionary period comes to an end, Re-turn has issued the following guidance for consumers.

  1. Any PET bottle or aluminium can from 150ml to three litres bought from a retailer should now display a Re-turn logo. If consumers are sold an in-scope container without a Re-turn logo after 1 June 2024, they should contact Re-turn at [email protected].
  2. The deposit on all Re-turn logo drinks containers is 15c on drinks containers from 150ml to 500ml, and 25c on drinks containers from over 500ml to three litres.
  3. Deposits will be refunded when empty and undamaged drinks containers are brought back to Deposit Return Points, either RVMs (reverse vending machines) or manual return points.
  4. Bottles and cans on which deposits were paid before 1 June 2024 can still be returned to any deposit return point.
  5. Vouchers must be redeemed in the same store from where they were issued. They can be spent against in-store purchases or exchanged for cash at a checkout. While there is no expiry on vouchers, Re-turn advises consumers to use them promptly, to avoid misplacing them.
  6. With all in-scope cans and bottles now subject to a deposit, deposit return points may become busier. Re-turn data shows that the most popular days to return drinks containers are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Re-turn recommends returning your cans and bottles midweek, to avoid busy periods.

Read More: Re-turn Reports Record-Breaking Day Of 3m Returns

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