Ours to Protect

Ep 34 - Deposit Return Scheme

Ep 34 - Deposit Return Scheme
Deposit Return Scheme

Stores across the country have launched the new Deposit Return Scheme, starting February 1st 2024.

What is the new Deposit Return Scheme? 

When you buy a drink in a container with the Re-turn logo you are charged a small refundable deposit. You can then claim back the levy by returning the empty container.

This is a new bottle and can recycling system and is known as the Deposit Return Scheme. The scheme began on 1 February 2024.


The cost of the deposit is automatically added to the cost of the drink.

You can reclaim the deposit by returning your containers once they are empty and undamaged.

Why is Ireland launching a Deposit Return Scheme 

The Deposit Return Scheme is a practical circular economy initiative that aims to create a closed loop recycling system guaranteeing the material is returned and recycled.


The EU has set Ireland a target to separate and collect 77% of plastic beverage bottles and aluminium cans by 2025. This target will rise to 90% in 2029. 

We currently recycle approximately 60% of drinks containers and Deposit Return is a proven method of increasing recycling rates, with great success in several other European countries. 

What will I pay?  

deposit of 15 cents will apply to each drinks container from 150ml - 500mls and a deposit of 25 cents for drinks containers over 500ml to 3 litres.  


What containers can be recycled?

Most drinks containers such as bottles, cans and tins made from plastic, aluminium or steel can be returned once they are between 150ml and 3 litres in size and have the Re-turn logo on them.

The containers should be empty, undamaged and in their original shape. The barcode must also be readable.

What is not included in the recycling scheme?

If your container doesn’t have the Re-turn logo on it, you can’t return it and it should be recycled as normal.

Containers which are not included in the scheme and can’t be returned include:

  • Glass bottles or containers
  • All dairy products (for example, milk containers, yogurt containers, etc)
  • Containers over 3 litres

You will not be able to return drinks containers which were bought before 1 February 2024 as these will not have the Re-turn logo.

How do I collect my deposit?

If you are using a Reverse Vending Machine, you will be given a voucher for the value of the number of containers you returned. You can choose to use your voucher to buy something in that specific shop or to refund your voucher for cash.

If you returned your items using an RVM, you can only use or refund your voucher in that same shop where you returned the bottles. You cannot reclaim your voucher in a store if you used a RVM from a different store.

Re-turn.ie have an interactive map, which shows you all the locations where you can return your containers.

For more information check out:




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