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The Deposit Return Scheme

When you buy a drink in a plastic bottle, aluminium or steel can that features the Re-turn logo, you pay a small deposit in addition to the price of the drink. When you return your empty and undamaged drink container to participating shops and supermarket, you get your deposit back in full.

Benefits of Deposit Return

Reduce Litter and Waste

By introducing Deposit Return here in Ireland, we will help reduce litter and waste nationwide and move towards a cleaner more sustainable Ireland.

Protect our Environment

Everyone in Ireland has the opportunity to play their part in leading us towards a more sustainable future by valuing our resources and increasing recycling rates.

Achieve EU Recycling Targets

The Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive is the main driver for the introduction of Deposit Return. We need to achieve the EU recycling targets of 77% by 2025, and 90% by 2029 and Deposit Return is a proven successful solution to achieving these targets.

Circular Economy Initiative

As a circular economy initiative, the new Deposit Return Scheme aims to move away from the ‘take, make, and dispose’ culture to one of returning valuable materials, and keeping them in the economy for as long as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much is the deposit fee?

    From 1 February, 2024, when you buy a drink featuring the Re-turn logo, you will be charged a small deposit  in addition to the price of the drink. The drinks containers included in the Scheme  are PET plastic bottles and aluminium and steel cans between 150mls and 3 litres. A deposit of 15c will apply to containers from 150ml to 500ml inclusive and a deposit of 25c for containers over 500mls to 3 litres inclusive.

     

  • How do I get my deposit back?

    To prevent waste, for a limited period, from 1 February there will be some stock of plastic bottles and cans that may not feature the Re-turn logo. Should consumers be charged a deposit on these drinks containers, please be assured that you will get your deposit back when you return to RVM Deposit Return Points nationwide.

    Consumers may return containers to a retailer that takes them back over the counter (manual), or through the use of a Reverse Vending Machine (RVM). If returning to an RVM, you must insert all Re-turn drinks containers as instructed and you will then be issued with a voucher which may be redeemed at the till.  *It is important to note that vouchers issued from an RVM must be redeemed at the same retail outlet.

  • My drinks container did not have a Re-turn logo on it, but I was still charged a deposit?

    Should consumers be charged a deposit on a drinks container, please be assured that you will get your deposit back when you return it empty and undamaged to Reverse Vending Machine Deposit Return Points nationwide.

    Starting February 1, 2024, retailers have a 4-month transition period during which they can sell both new drinks containers with the Re-turn logo and older drinks containers that do not feature this logo. During this time, drinks containers can incur a deposit in two ways:

    • By having the Re-turn logo with a registered barcode
    • By having a barcode that is registered as part of the scheme without the Re-turn logo.

    During the transition period, there will be old drink containers without a logo and with barcode not registered with the scheme; these drinks containers will not incur a deposit charge.

    From June 1, all drinks containers included in the scheme will feature the Re-turn logo and barcode. If a consumer is in any doubt about whether their container is eligible for a refund on a deposit, they can visit https://re-turn.ie/consumer/#barcodeChecker to verify.

  • Are Retailers obliged to have a Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) to take back empty 'in scope' containers?

    Retailers may opt for either manual return or for automatic collection, through Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs). Retailers have the choice of whether they opt for a reverse vending machine or not. It is not compulsory for any retailer to have a reverse vending machine.

  • Why are we moving from putting bottles & cans in the green bin to Deposit Return?

    To date, over approximately 60% of plastic bottles and cans are being collected for recycling through recycling bins, which means that over 30% are not collected, leading to increased littering.

    By placing a value on the drinks containers, we are incentivising consumers to return their bottles and cans in order to get their deposit back and discourage littering. The Deposit Return Scheme is a circular economy initiative that aims to create a closed loop recycling system guaranteeing the material is returned and recycled into new drinks containers.

    In addition, with the separate collection of drinks containers, there is no cross contamination and a higher quality of recyclate is collected, which is more efficient.

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