The government is determined to reduce the excessive use of plastics.
As a first step, the purchase of single use plastics has been banned throughout the public service. We are determined to increase recycling of plastics from 37% now to 55% in the coming years and, along with other EU member states, to phase out non-recyclable plastics entirely.
A Deposit and Return Scheme is one option proposed for EU member states to consider as a means of increasing the collection of plastic beverage containers and achieve the new 90% target for this waste stream identified in the Single Use Plastic Directive.
In January this year I commissioned a study to examine how Ireland can deliver a 90% collection target for single use beverage containers, including plastic bottles. This study will also examine the possibility of introducing a Deposit and Return Scheme and how this might operate in an Irish context. The introduction of an initiative such as a Deposit and Return Scheme needs to be fully understood and the costs and impacts identified to enable evidence-based decision making in this matter.
A first draft of the study has been received and is currently being reviewed.