The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan T.D., has signed the legislative regulations for a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in Ireland for plastic bottles and aluminium cans, which plans to come into force next year.
Alupro Ireland welcome these regulations as we believe a well-designed DRS has the potential to take beverage recycling in Ireland to the next level. However, we were disappointed with some elements of the proposal, and have written to the Minister to express our concerns which are as follows:
- Schedule 1 does not specify the deposit amount to be charged by container, nor indicate if the deposit will be variable or fixed. Communications from the department state that the government will be in consultation with the scheme administrator to decide this but does not indicate a timeline of when this will be decided or details of the process.
- The regulations do not stipulate any specific collection or recycling targets for aluminium cans beyond the EU’s target rate for all aluminium packaging of 50% by 2025 and 60% by 2030. Alupro Ireland’s members would welcome a target at least as challenging as that being set for PET (90%). Part 3 of the regulations (Paragraph 5, point 1, section c) could contain a reference to this.
- The regulations do not stipulate that an “Approved Body” (i.e. System Administrator) must hold separate accounts for each included material type. Each material will have its own collection and sorting costs and Alupro Ireland strongly believe that each material must pay its own way. This should be included in the regulations, and the Minister should only accept applications from an “Approved Body” if they include provisions that prevent cross-subsidising between in-scope materials.
- There is not commencement date for the scheme included in the regulations. To ensure that there is adequate time for obligated producers, and their packaging suppliers, to restock the shelves with DRS-compliant packaging carrying the required labelling, the regulations should allow for a period of at least 12 months before commencement.
Download and read the full letter here: