Deposit Return at Howth: the Green Peninsula

Return for Change decided that enough was enough so pulled some strings and got the Weather to agree to be a bit more summer-like. As a result, people all over Ireland are looking forward to spending some time outdoors this upcoming Bank Holiday weekend. After the May we’ve just had, the chance to go out and enjoy ourselves is the least we deserve (once we stick to the rules and take care of each other, of course). For any of you people who are thinking of heading to Howth over the weekend, we have something that may tickle your fancy.

Sunday 6th and Monday 7th June 2021

On Sunday 6th and Monday 7th June 2021, Return for Change will be teaming up with a whole host of businesses and community groups from Howth to run a very unique event. In fact, it will be the first of its kind in Ireland. As many of you know, Ireland will be introducing a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) some time in the second half of 2022. That’s great but it’s also an awful long time away so in the meantime, we thought it would be a good idea to take the show on the road. Hearing that, the good people of Howth stepped forward to offer their gorgeous village as the site for the first of our events: Return for Change – Howth: the Green Peninsula.

But what exactly is going to happen, I hear you ask. Put simply, we are going to show people exactly how the DRS will operate. Many of you will have noticed that one of the downsides to the good weather is an increase in the amount of litter. In collaboration with – wait for it – Michael Wright Hospitality, Fingal County Council, Howth Tidy Towns, Visit Howth tourism, Shabra Recycling and Beann Eadair GAA, we have oraganised an event whereby we will set up three return points along Howth promenade to collect empty PET plastic bottles and aluminium cans, these being the two materials which Ireland’s DRS will initially cater for.

Every empty bottle and can which is returned to the designate station will be counted, collected and sent for recycling. In exchange, Michael Wright Hospitality and Shabra Recycling have generously agreed to donate funds to local clubs, such as Beann Eadair GAA. In fact, members of that club will be helping us to man the return stations whilst members of Howth Tidy Towns will assist in the collecting of empty containers. Of course, we would encourage anyone who wants to get involved, too.

Shabra is the odd man out here as, not only are they not from Howth, they’re not even from Dublin! However, that has not dissuaded them from getting involved and we are delighted to have them work with us as they are Ireland’s leading recycler and reprocessor of PET plastic bottles in Ireland. They will help to close the circle for us by collecting all the materials from the weekend for recycling at their plant in Castleblayney. We’ve also been extremely lucky to have the support of Michael Wright and his crew; Howth denizens all, they’re working hard to do what they can to help their community be more sustainable and to see Howth become known as the Green Peninsula. We are extremely grateful to both Michael Wright Hospitality and to Shabra for their generous donation to local clubs.

All of this is to say nothing of the time, effort and enthusiasm of the Helen and the Howth Tidy Towns group who have given so generously of their time. The same can be said of Tracey at Visit Howth who has been busy getting support from the local businesses who are all behind the event as a result. Aoife and Fingal County Council have also gone above and beyond and have furnished us with litter pickers, gloves and bags to beat the band. Finally, Beann Eadair GAA, proud proprietors of one of the most scenic pitches in all of Ireland, have been incredibly supportive and their help will play a large part in making the event a success.