I propose to take Questions Nos. 53 and 56 together.
Under the Single Use Plastics Directive, Ireland must achieve a collection target of 90% recycling for plastic bottles by 2029 with an interim target of 77% by 2025. A report prepared by Eunomia for my Department concluded that the introduction of a deposit and return scheme (DRS) is essential if we are to reach these targets.
The Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy, launched last September, sets out a clear roadmap for the introduction of a Deposit and Return Scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles and aluminium cans in the third quarter of 2022. This process began with the launch of a public consultation on the design of a DRS for Ireland in October last. My officials are currently engaged in bi-lateral discussions with a range of stakeholders to progress the design of the system, including waste collectors, drinks producers and retailers and environmental NGOs. While the external report estimated that the introduction of a DRS might result in a small increase in the costs of collecting domestic waste this issue will be considered in detail during these discussions and in the detailed design of the scheme itself.