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Businesses must be prepared for the incoming implementation of Ireland’s deposit return scheme in February 2024, Reconomy warns, with less than two weeks left to arrange collection points.

When the scheme commences, consumers will pay a deposit when purchasing a drink in a plastic or aluminium container featuring a Re-turn logo. Empty, undamaged containers can then be returned to any participating shops or supermarkets, at which point the consumer will get a full refund on their deposit.

It is hoped that, as similar DRS schemes are rolled out in various countries, Ireland can meet its targets to separate and collect 77% of plastic beverage bottles by 2025 and 90% in 2029. Reconomy highlights that setting up appropriate collection will help Irish businesses capitalize on the potential commercial success of DRS.

“The Deposit Return Scheme in Ireland heralds a significant step forward in the country’s recycling capabilities and potential,” explained Travis Way, managing director at EcoVend by Reconomy. “Given the direction of travel, we expect to see more of these schemes introduced globally with many already in operation and proven to have significant improved rates of recycling.

“For businesses, preparation will be key for a successful implementation. We have seen high demand for introducing our reverse vending machines as retailers and other stores look to use the scheme as an opportunity to create customer loyalty, improve data capabilities and even open up additional revenue streams from selling advertising space on the hardware.

“We would advise consumers to look after their containers and bottles so they don’t jeopardise their ability to claim a refund on their deposit.

“For those yet to make these preparations, time is now running out with just two weeks until the scheme goes live. Collective action is crucial to making the DRS a success in Ireland and in promoting a sustainable future to pass down the generations.”

Ireland’s implementation of DRS follows TOMRA and central system administrator MOHU’s new deposit return scheme for single-use drinks containers in Hungary; and, earlier this year, the rollout of Sensoneo’s ready-to-integrate IT system in a centralized deposit return system for single-use beverage containers in Romania.

TOMRA is also working with the municipality of Aarhus to pilot the ‘world’s first’ open-managed system for reusable takeaway packaging in a bid to transition entire cities into reusable packaging systems.

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