Plastic bottle deposit return scheme regulations signed by Minister

Plan will see refundable deposit placed on plastic bottles and aluminium cans

The scheme was aimed at reducing the number of plastic bottles and cans thrown out as litter. Photograph: iStock

The scheme was aimed at reducing the number of plastic bottles and cans thrown out as litter. Photograph: iStock

 

A scheme where customers pay a refundable “deposit” on plastic bottles and aluminium cans is to come into effect next year, after regulations underpinning the scheme were signed by Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan.

Under the deposit return scheme customers pay an extra deposit on aluminium cans and plastic bottles, which is then refunded if the can or bottle is returned, to be reused or recycled.

The Department of Environment, Climate and Communications said on Friday the legislative regulations for the scheme had been signed, and the scheme would come into effect in the second half of next year.

The regulations set out how Mr Ryan can appoint an operator to run the deposit return scheme, as well as setting out obligations for producers, shops and “return points”, where customers can bring the bottles or cans back to receive the refund.

A department spokesman said the amount the deposit would be set at “requires further engagement with the various stakeholders”. The deposit cost, which will be included in the price of drinks, “will be the subject of additional regulations before the scheme goes live,” he said.

In a statement, the department said the scheme was aimed at reducing the number of plastic bottles and cans thrown out as litter.

Department officials had worked with representatives of the beverage industry in drawing up the regulations for the scheme.