Today marks the implementation of a new nationwide money-back program for aluminum cans and plastic drink bottles. The program's goal is to incentivize consumers to return used drink containers so that they can be properly recycled into new ones.
Individuals who fail to return old drink containers intact under the Deposit Return Scheme will forfeit 15–25 cents for each container.
The program aims to raise recycling rates dramatically.
When the empty, untouched drink container is put back into a reverse vending machine in a retail establishment, the deposit—which is fifteen cents for beverages up to 500 milliliters and twenty-five cents for drinks over 500 milliliters—will be fully refunded.
Ossian Smyth, the minister of state in charge of the circular economy, stated that by recycling used drink containers into new bottles and cans, the problem of used drink containers on beaches and along highways will be resolved.
In Ireland, two billion plastic bottles and aluminum drink cans are sold annually; of these, slightly more than 60% are currently returned for recycling.
The remaining are either dumped in incinerators or wind up as trash along country roads, lakeshores, and riverbanks.
This program will address this problem and seek to achieve a 90% recycling rate increase.