Zero Waste Ireland and VOICE have launched a campaign on Uplift to petition the Minister for Climate Action and the Environment to Introduce a Deposit-Refund System for drinks containers in Ireland.
According to VOICE, container deposit and refund schemes are extremely successful at addressing the recycling of bottles and cans in other countries. These systems reduce waste, raise recovery rates, save money, create jobs, and enjoy high public support.
While a deposit and refund system may be expensive to initially set-up, its benefits greatly outweigh these costs. It is estimated that these systems have net benefits of over €100 million.
Many other European countries already have already implemented deposit refund schemes with very impressive results. Germany, Denmark, Netherlands & numerous other European countries have had successful deposit refund systems in place for years. Now Scotland is introducing one too.
The table below shows a comparison between Ireland and other countries where deposit refund schemes are already in place.
Denmark, Finland, and Estonia, for example, have achieved over 90 per cent return rates with their schemes, whereas Ireland’s return rates are approximately half of aluminum cans and one fifth of PET plastic bottles.
If Ireland introduced a deposit refund scheme we could easily double our current rates of return on both cans and bottles and create sustainable employment opportunities while helping preserve the green environment that Ireland is known for.
We believe we badly need a deposit refund system in Ireland to help tackle our worsening litter crisis. It would work like this. A small charge (eg. 10c)
would be added to the price of drinks in cans, & glass & plastic bottles. When the container is returned to the shop the 10c is returned to the consumer. The returned containers are then reused or recycled. Abit like the plastic bag levy, this system is proven to be very effective, recovering up to 95% of containers. Imagine the difference that would make to our coasts, countryside, towns & cities.Zero Waste Ireland
If Ireland introduced a deposit refund scheme we could easily double our current rates of return on both cans and bottles and create sustainable employment opportunities, the campaign states, while helping preserve the green environment that Ireland is known for.