DUBLIN, Ireland: Details have been released by the government for a new deposit to be paid when purchasing drinks in bottles and cans in Ireland.
The plan is scheduled to begin next February.
Called the Deposit Return Scheme, a deposit of 15 cents will be charged when a drink is purchased in a bottle or can. However, the deposit will be returned when the bottle or can is later turned back to a retailer or collection point.
The deposit to be collected will be 15 cents for cans or bottles of up to 500ml and 25 cents above 500ml.
Officials note that 1.9 billion drinks in bottles and cans are purchased in Ireland every year.
The scheme will be operated by Deposit Return Scheme Ireland CLG, known as Re-turn.
Speaking on RTE, Minister of State with responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy Ossian Smyth said the program will pay for itself.
"We are not recycling enough to meet our EU targets. We've got a target for 2025 and one for 2030, and in order to do that, we believe that we need to give people an incentive to bring back the bottle or the can," the minister said.
"A benefit that's going to come out of this scheme is that people are not going to have a party and leave a lot of cans and bottles on the ground because they're going to be worth money."
Besides returning bottles and cans to retailers, the public will also have the option to return beverage containers to machines.
Tony Keohane, Chairperson of Deposit Return Scheme Ireland, said green recycle bins in homes will no longer be used for recycling plastic bottles and cans once the program begins in February 2024.
"So there will be a change needed by consumers, but again, we're confident from the research we've done, we think consumers are up for this," said Keohane, as quoted by Reuters.
Environmental groups have welcomed the new system.
Mindy O'Brien, Chief Executive of VOICE Ireland, said the scheme "is something we've been lobbying for and advocating for the past 20 years" and will be "a really good initiative to reduce the amount of litter," as quoted by Reuters.