Irish Beverage Council and Drinks Ireland welcome the launch of Ireland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS)

The Irish Beverage Council and Drinks Ireland, the Ibec groups representing the non-alcohol and alcohol beverage industries on the Island of Ireland, welcome the launch of the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in Ireland, following a long-term constructive and dynamic partnership across industry, Government, and NGOs. DRS represents a significant change in how beverage manufacturers, retailers, and consumers interact with the market.  The refundable deposit placed on plastic bottles and cans, which is redeemable by consumers when they return their used products to designated points across the country, aims to establish a ‘closed-loop’ recycling system, allowing the returned material to be recycled into new drinks containers.

A producer-funded and producer-led initiative designed to increase Ireland’s recycling rates and promote circularity.

Under the EU’s Single Use Plastics Directive, Ireland will need to ensure 77% of our beverage containers are separately collected and recycled by 2025, rising to 90% by 2029. DRS will be an effective and efficient approach in working to achieve this. Producers across the country will be responsible for the costs related to the collection and recycling of these containers, and retailers who take back in-scope products will be paid a handling fee, ensuring that consumers across the country are facilitated in returning their used containers.

Robert Kiernan, Director of the Irish Beverage Council, said that “DRS offers the beverage chain, from producer, to retailer, through to the consumer, the opportunity to play their part in increasing recycling, reducing litter, and building a more circular economy. The Irish Beverage Council is delighted to have played our part in shaping and delivering this important initiative, and looks forward to the introduction of a successful and sustainable DRS for Ireland”.

Jennifer Wallace, Drinks Ireland, said that “Drinks Ireland has worked hard to support members in preparations for the Deposit Return Scheme which will deliver significant environmental benefits. This project represents a major change for businesses and consumers. We were happy to see the Scheme recognising the diversity of the market, including support for smaller producers. We stand ready to continue supporting our members in their successful implementation of the Scheme”.

The combined alcohol and non-alcohol industry, and retailers, have engaged extensively with key stakeholders throughout the Scheme’s establishment, to support the creation of an impactful DRS for Ireland. This includes the creation of a new and independent corporate entity to manage the Scheme, and significant investment to ensure full readiness for go-live. With the expected introduction of DRS in Northern Ireland in the near future, we also look forward to working with key stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of DRS, North and South.

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