January 26, 2024
New Deposit Return Scheme has transformative potential but measures must be taken to ensure that it is fair and competitive – Darren O’Rourke TD and Louise O’Reilly TD 

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Environment and Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD has argued that the new Deposit Return Scheme has great promise when it comes to Ireland’s approach to recycling but warned that oversight will be necessary to ensure that it is fair and competitive. 

Commenting on the launch of the scheme on February 1st, the Meath East TD said: 

“The much anticipated deposit return scheme will launch next week. 

“From the 1st of February, when consumers purchase a drink in a plastic bottle or aluminium can that features the ‘Return’ logo, they will pay a fully refundable deposit in addition to the price of the drink. It aims to create a closed loop recycling system guaranteeing the material is returned and recycled. 

“The scheme has the potential to be transformative to Ireland’s progress to transition to a circular economy. The EU has set Ireland a target to separate and collect 77 percent of plastic beverage bottles by 2025. This target will rise to 90 per cent in 2029.  As it stands however, Ireland is set to blow right past them. According to the most recent study by the EPA, the rate in Ireland is only at 60%. Therefore, in Sinn Féin we see the potential significance of the scheme to reach our 2030 targets. 

Louise O’Reilly, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Enterprise, Trade and Employment noted: 

“Having said that however, concerns have been expressed in advance of the February 1st launch. First by small retailers who argue that the scheme is inaccessible to them, and second by retail associations that it has potential to be anti-competitive. 

“Therefore, Sinn Féin is calling on the CCPC to carefully monitor its roll-out and operation. It is essential that the scheme operates fairly and competitively, and further that smaller retailers are supported to participate. This will be crucial for the success of this potentially transformational scheme.”

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