'Cheers’ and a big ‘Thumbs Up’ to launch of Ireland’s national Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).
Green Party member and Minister of State with responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth, today launched Ireland’s national Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).
It is estimated that about 1.9 billion drinks bottles and cans are consumed each year in Ireland, in-house and 'on the go'. The Deposit Return Scheme aims to boost the recycling rate for these drinks containers by charging a small, refundable deposit for each plastic bottle or can. The Scheme will include PET plastic bottles and aluminium and steel cans between 150ml and 3 litres. A deposit of 15c will apply to containers 500mls or less and a deposit of 25c for each container above 500ml.
Commenting on the new scheme, Minister Pippa Hackett said:
"I’m thrilled that my Green Party colleague Minister Ossian Smyth, has launched Ireland’s national Deposit Return Scheme (DRS). Ireland is following other very successful EU countries in introducing this Deposit Return Scheme on plastic drink bottles, and aluminium and steel cans between 150ml and 3 litres. This scheme will ‘go-live’ for consumers from February 2024 but the registration of retailers and producers starts today."
"Plastic drink bottles take so long to decompose that at present we only have an estimate of 450 years. We need to keep them out of landfill, disincentivise fly tipping and most especially keep plastic out of our oceans. Aluminium and steel are both precious resources which we need to keep in use. Previous Governments have talked about a Deposit Return Scheme – This coalition, thanks to the Green input, is delivering it. The effectiveness of Deposit Return Schemes can be seen across the EU where, in countries with a scheme in operation, return rates range between 83% and 97%. I believe this is a change that our children and young people will embrace easily and readily: They understand about ocean plastic and the need to conserve resources. But we cannot leave it to them alone and we all need to embrace this significant step towards tackling resource waste, and feel the benefit in our pockets"
Local Green Party Rep for Portlaoise, Rosie Palmer:
“The introduction of the Deposit Return Scheme is yet another positive mark of the Green Party in Government. We all want to be able to play our part in the fight against climate change and this is an easy, accessible and rewarding way to do that. I'd like to thank my colleague, Minister Ossian Smyth, for his work on this, bringing us in line with many other EU Countries. I look forward to continuing to work with the Minister to deliver a reverse vending machine in every town and village across Laois for the benefit of individuals, local community groups (as a fundraising opportunity) and our environment.