01 February 2024
The Re-turn Deposit Return Scheme. How your Community Group could Benefit
Ireland is taking a pioneering step towards reducing plastic pollution and boosting recycling rates with the introduction of its national Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), aptly named Re-turn. This ambitious initiative, which officially launches on February 1, 2024, aims to make Ireland a global leader in recycling beverage containers by incentivizing consumers to return empty bottles and cans.
How Re-turn Works
The Re-turn DRS works by adding a small deposit of 15 cents for containers under 500ml and 25 cents for containers over 500ml to the purchase price of eligible beverage containers. These containers, marked with the distinctive Re-turn logo, can be returned to designated reverse vending machines (RVMs) located at participating retailers, supermarkets, and other collection points across Ireland. Upon returning their empty containers, consumers receive a full refund of their deposits. This financial incentive encourages responsible recycling habits and reduces littering. The collected containers are then sorted, cleaned, and processed for recycling into new products.
The Re-turn DRS is expected to bring a multitude of benefits to Ireland, including:
- Increased Recycling Rates: Studies have demonstrated that DRS schemes can significantly boost recycling rates for beverage containers. For instance, Germany, which implemented a DRS in 2003, now boasts a recycling rate of over 90% for plastic bottles.
- Reduced Litter: With a financial reward for returning containers, consumers are less likely to toss them aside improperly. This will lead to cleaner streets, neighbourhoods, and waterways.
- Environmental Protection: By diverting beverage containers from landfills and incineration, the Re-turn DRS will help protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste disposal.
Community Groups: A Driving Force for Change
The Re-turn DRS presents a golden opportunity for local community groups and sports clubs to benefit in various ways. Here are just a few:
- Fundraising for Community Projects: Community groups can leverage the proceeds from Re-turn container returns to fund their various initiatives, such as supporting local charities, providing essential community services, or enhancing recreational facilities. This sustainable source of funding can empower community groups to make a real difference in their neighbourhoods.
- Partnerships with Retailers: Community groups can collaborate with local retailers to organize container collection events or establish designated drop-off points for empty bottles and cans. This not only helps businesses comply with Re-turn regulations but also showcases their environmental responsibility.
- Waste Reduction and Litter Prevention: By promoting the use of Re-turn, community groups can actively contribute to reducing litter in their communities. Cleaner streets, parks, and waterways not only enhance aesthetics but also create a more attractive and welcoming environment for everyone.
Some Tips for Community Groups. What can you come with to raise funds?
- Communicate effectively: Educate your community about the Re-turn scheme, highlighting its benefits for the environment, recycling rates, and community funding.
- Set up a central drop-off point: Collaborate with local businesses or organizations to establish a central location for residents to drop off their empty containers.
- Partner with schools and youth groups: Engage children and young adults in the Re-turn initiative by organizing recycling drives.
- Promote the scheme through events and initiatives: Host community events, such as cleanups to showcase the importance of Re-turn and encourage participation.
So put your thinking hats on and see how what you can do to promote this scheme in your community and at the same time raise vistal funds for your local community or sports group.
Did you know that your Local Credit Union provides finance to community groups and sports clubs – Talk to us today about financing your next project.
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