A welcome step forward in the preparation of the Deposit Return Scheme.

We have some exciting news for the DRS nerds out there (and anyone who cares about plastic bottles being recycled) ! The Irish government has waived planning permission requirements on the placing of reverse vending machines (RVM) in the car parks of supermarkets.

Remember what an RVM is? These are the wonderful machines which will enable the take back and refund of your soon-to-be deposited PET bottles and cans. Empty containers go in, deposits come out- wonderful.

We at the Return for Change campaign are more than happy to hear about this move. We welcome Minister Ossian Smyth’s push to help retailers prepare for the launch of the scheme on February 1st of 2024 and his commitment to its successful development and introduction. Those retailers who haven’t already begun to prepare, still have plenty of time to do so in order to ensure a successful integration to the scheme. Helpfully, the Government’s waiving of requirements will enable businesses to do just that.

We also believe that the construction of these RVM kiosks will serve as a powerful communication tool which will enhance public awareness of the scheme; whose curiosity won’t be piqued by these shiny new things?! These tangible, visual cues represent great indicators of the progress being made towards this newest sustainable initiative, which we’ve all been rootting for for so long. 

The ability for retailers to build new kiosks, outside, quickly, without having to go down the long and arduous planning avenue, is a strong step forward for the scheme. The decision simplifies the preparation process for the deposit return scheme while empowering businesses and enhancing public communication. Remember, deposits on shops will start at the beginning of February 2024 and it’ll be 15c up to 5ooml and 25c for all containers over that up to 3ltrs.