IRELAND – The Government of Ireland has announced a recycling initiative for plastic bottles and aluminum and steel cans, television channel RTE Ireland has reported.
Under the Deposit Return Scheme, to be introduced in February 2024, anyone who buys a drink will pay a small deposit for the plastic bottle or can container.
They can then receive their deposits back by returning the empty containers to any retailer or other collection point for recycling.
For each return, customers will receive €0.15 (US$0.16) back for cans or bottles of up to 500ml and €0.25 (US$0.26) for containers larger than 500ml.
Retailers will need to register for free to join the scheme and will be allowed to keep a small fee.
Minister of State with responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy Ossian Smyth said bottles and cans can be returned to any relevant shop, not just where the drinks were purchased.
The scheme will be operated by Deposit Return Scheme Ireland CLG, trading as Re-turn, which was appointed by Mr. Smyth in July.
He added that the scheme is designed to pay for itself and everybody along the line who handles the goods has to be compensated for their work.
RTE’s Morning Ireland quoted Smyth as saying: “I think people understand what (the scheme is) about.
“It’s just the same as when you arrive at the supermarket, and you need a trolley and you put in a coin, and you put down a deposit and you get it back when you return the trolley.”
The move comes at a time when around 1.9 billion drinks in bottles and cans are consumed in Ireland every year.
“We are not recycling enough to meet our EU targets. We’ve got a target for 2025 and one for 2030, and in order to do that, we believe that we need to give people an incentive to bring back the bottle or the can,” added Smyth.
“Many people are putting it into their green bin, but it’s just not enough and a lot are ending up on the ground. So, there is a lot of litter.”
Meanwhile, the Irish Government recently ended a consultation period for a forthcoming levy on disposable coffee cups.
As reported by BBC, the levy aims to incentivize the use of recycled and reusable alternatives to single-use disposable packaging.
It also paves the way for use of CCTV to detect and deter illegal dumping and littering.
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