The Government is set to introduce a DRS for drinks containers in 2021 with a proposed model where consumers pay a deposit on all PET plastic drinks bottles and aluminium cans.
The Deposit and Return Scheme is currently in place in other EU states, and is design to incentivise consumers to return their waste containers for recycling and reuse. Introduction in Ireland is intended to pay close focus on plastic bottles and aluminium cans as it is reported that far too few of these are being included in current recycling processes.
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan said:
We must strive to keep resources in circulation for as long as possible and the introduction of a DRS is a first step in this, as we need to collect and recycle more plastic bottles and aluminium cans,
Conversely, no similar scheme is planned for England, Wales or Northern Ireland until at least 2024, while the Scottish government has plans for July 2021. In the UK approx 13 billion plastic bottles are used per year, with just over half being recycled. The remaining are either landfilled or incinerated.