Following the launch of the new Deposit Return Scheme in the Republic of Ireland, new research from recycling not-for-profit, Every Can Counts, has revealed that nearly a third (29%) of those in Ireland aren’t confident about how to use the scheme.

The refundable deposit is available on drink containers featuring the Re-turn logo, with a deposit of 15 cents applying to drink containers from 150ml to 500ml and one of 25 cents for those between 500ml to 3 litres.

As well as not feeling clear on the process, people also highlighted not having enough space to store uncrushed drink containers (36%) as a concern. Moreover, the refundable deposit not being high enough (22%) and there being too many steps to follow (17%) were also cited as the top three reasons for not recycling through the Deposit Return Scheme.

Not having time to return their cans and plastic bottles (17%) was also cited as a key reason.

However, despite people not feeling confident about the process, nearly seven in 10 (69%) say that the new Deposit Return Scheme will encourage them to recycle more, with concern for the environment the main motivating factor.

Moreover, over three quarters (78%) of those living in the Republic of Ireland are more likely to purchase a drink container they consider to be recyclable, with aluminium cans, plastic bottles, and glass bottles at the top of their lists.

Chris Latham-Warde, Programme Manager at Every Can Counts, said: “With the new Deposit Return Scheme having only just launched in the Republic of Ireland, it’s not surprising to see people harbouring some uncertainty towards the details of the scheme and how they can get their refundable deposit back.

“While their worries are completely valid, we hope that as they become more familiar with the scheme and its steps, we’ll see more and more people participating in it and recycling their used drink containers through Re-turn.”

For those who are unsure about how to return their drink container to claim their refundable deposit, Every Can Counts has summarised the three key steps to follow.

  1. First, ensure your drink container has a Re-turn logo – only containers with this logo are included in the scheme, so if your container doesn’t have this it isn’t eligible for the refundable deposit. Also, make sure it is empty of any fluid and is undamaged. If it has been crushed or dented, it won’t be accepted.
  1. Next, take your drink container to a Reverse Vending Machine or return it manually over the counter at participating shops. All Reverse Vending Machines will have clear instructions on how to use them and once you insert your drink container, they will give you a voucher for the refundable deposit.
  1. Finally, take your voucher to the till of a participating shop and choose either a full refund or credit towards your next store purchase.

If you’re unsure about where your local participating shops are located, Re-turn has a map on its website:

The research from Every Can Counts also found that three quarters (75%) of respondents agreed that understanding the environmental benefits of recycling would make them more likely to use the Deposit Return Scheme.

Chris Latham-Warde added: “Our findings highlight the important role environmental awareness and understanding will play in encouraging people to participate in the Deposit Return Scheme.

“Aluminium can be recycled time and time again, and making cans from recycled metal uses 95% less energy than making them from raw materials. At Every Can Counts our focus is on raising awareness of these environmental benefits and delivering communications that inspire people to do the right thing with their empty cans.

“We hope our tips will help to make the process clearer and encourage more people to take part in the Deposit Return Scheme, as ultimately this will have a lasting positive impact on the environment.”