Department of Environment, Climate Change and Communications of Ireland

11/19/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/19/2021 06:32

Regulations signed for a Deposit Return Scheme for plastic bottles and aluminium cans

The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan T.D., has signed the legislative regulations for a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in Ireland for plastic bottles and aluminium cans, which will come into force next year.

The Separate Collection (Deposit Return Scheme) Regulations, Statutory Instrument no. 599, provide the framework within which the Minister may approve a scheme operator. The regulations also set out the obligations that will fall to producers, retailers and return point operators under the scheme.

The introduction of a DRS scheme will assist in reducing single use plastics, help Ireland meet EU targets and promote a wider circular economy.

A DRS is a system used to incentivise consumers to return their empty beverage containers for recycling or reuse. The DRS being introduced in Ireland is focused on plastic bottles and aluminium cans, to ensure that more of these are captured for recycling and to avoid these being discarded as litter.

In drafting the regulations, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications has worked closely with representatives from the beverage industry who will fund and operate the scheme. A commitment to establish a DRS was part of the Programme for Government and the timeline for its establishment was set out in the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy, published in September 2020.

The next step is the appointment, by the Minister, of an approved body to operate the scheme. Further engagement is also required with stakeholders, to fix the rate of the deposit to be paid on in-scope bottles and cans.

The scheme is expected to become operational across the country in Quarter 3 of 2022.



Over the course of the past year, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications has carried out public consultations on a DRS, with favourable responses having been received.

The intent of a DRS here in Ireland is primarily to increase the capture rate of single use Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and aluminium beverage containers.

The Regulations signed by the Minister are intended, in particular, to achieve the separate collection targets for plastic bottles contained in Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment and the recycling targets for aluminium established in Directive (EU) 2018/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, with a view to promoting the recovery and recycling of packaging waste.