Understanding the Deposit Return Scheme in Ireland: Everything You Need to Know

Home - Re-TurnThe Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) has been making headlines across all parts of the globe as countries tackle the issue of waste management. Ireland is one of the countries that has implemented the deposit return scheme to reduce litter and achieve its sustainability goals. As an environmentally conscious person, you might have heard about the Deposit Return Scheme in Ireland, but you don’t know much about it yet. This blog post will cover everything you need to know about the Deposit Return Scheme in Ireland, from how it works to its benefits and challenges.

What is the Deposit Return Scheme?

The Deposit Return Scheme is a waste management scheme that encourages the proper disposal and recycling of beverage containers like plastic bottles, cans, and glass bottles. The DRS is based on a simple principle: consumers pay an extra deposit when buying drinks in single-use containers, which they can claim back if they bring back the containers for recycling. The aim of the scheme is to increase the number of containers that are recycled and reduce the amount of litter that ends up in the environment.

How does the Deposit Return Scheme work?

The Deposit Return Scheme in Ireland works by adding a deposit fee on single-use beverage containers. Depending on the size of the container, consumers pay an additional fee of between 10 and 25 cents. Consumers can take the empty containers to local designated recycling facilities, retailers or reverse vending machines, and reclaim their deposit. The empty containers are collected and sent for recycling, which is then sold to manufacturing companies to make new products.

What are the benefits of the Deposit Return Scheme?

The Deposit Return Scheme has numerous benefits for the environment and consumers. Firstly, it reduces the amount of litter that ends up in the environment. Secondly, it reduces carbon emissions by using less energy to collect and recycle the containers. Thirdly, it encourages consumers to recycle more, thus promoting a circular economy. The scheme also helps to reduce the costs associated with litter pick-up and waste disposal, which ultimately benefits the taxpayers.

What are the challenges of the Deposit Return Scheme?

Although the Deposit Return Scheme has many benefits, it also has a few challenges. First, it can be difficult to educate consumers on the importance of recycling and incentivize them to participate in the scheme. Secondly, the cost of implementing reverse vending machines and other collection facilities can be high, resulting in increased production costs for manufacturers. Lastly, the Deposit Return Scheme could negatively impact small retailers who would have to deal with the additional storage and transportation costs associated with handling returned containers.


The Deposit Return Scheme is a remarkable initiative that has the potential to transform the beverage industry in Ireland. It encourages consumers to reduce, reuse and recycle, ultimately promoting a sustainable environment for future generations. Although it has its challenges, the benefits of the scheme far outweigh its disadvantages. Through collective effort from manufacturers, retailers, consumers, and the government, we can all play our role in supporting the Deposit Return Scheme, which will in turn, support the environment and the Irish economy. If you want to kow more about the scheme you can contact us.