Guidance for Irish Consumers on Deposit Return Scheme

Ireland’s Deposit Return Scheme is live. The operator of the nationwide scheme, Re-turn, has the following guidance for consumers. 

What will I pay?  

A deposit of 15 cents will apply to each drinks container from 150ml – 500mls and a deposit of 25 cents for drinks containers over 500ml to 3 litres.  


How will I get my deposit back?  

Consumers will receive their deposit back when they return the empty and undamaged plastic bottle or aluminium can, that incurred a deposit, to participating shops and supermarkets nationwide.  


If through a reverse vending machine, consumers will be issued a voucher that can be redeemed at the till against store purchases or as a cash refund. If over the counter, retailers will check the drinks container features the Re-turn logo and is undamaged and then provide a refund. 


Where can I return my bottle and cans? 

Consumers can return their empty undamaged plastic bottles and cans to participating shops and supermarkets nationwide either through a Reverse Vending Machine or manually, over the counter.  


Drinks containers without the Re-turn logo but have incurred a deposit must be returned through a Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) only. As manual return points rely on checking for the Re-turn logo, they cannot identify containers that have incurred a cost without a logo. Starting from June 1st, all in-scope drinks containers will feature the Re-turn logo. 


To locate the nearest deposit return point, individuals can visit the Re-turn ‘Where To Return’ map. 

This map is accessible either by scanning a QR code on Take Back Exemption certificates in stores or supermarkets or by visiting


My drinks container did not have a Re-turn logo on it, but I was still charged a deposit. Why? 

Should consumers be charged a deposit on a drinks container, please be assured that you will get your deposit back when you return it empty and undamaged to Reverse Vending Machine Deposit Return Points nationwide.  


Starting February 1, 2024, retailers have a 4-month transition period during which they can sell both new drinks containers with the Re-turn logo and older drinks containers that do not feature this logo. During this time, drinks containers can incur a deposit in two ways:  

·       By having the Re-turn logo with a registered barcode  

·       By having a barcode that is registered as part of the scheme without the Re-turn logo. 


During the transition period, there will be old drink containers without a logo and with barcode not registered with the scheme; these drinks containers will not incur a deposit charge. 


From June 1, all drinks containers included in the scheme will feature the Re-turn logo and barcode. If a consumer is in any doubt about whether their container is eligible for a refund on a deposit, they can visit to verify.  


Are multipacks part of this scheme?  

All new multi-packs with the Re-turn logo will now feature barcodes on each container and will be subject to a deposit which is fully refunded when each container is returned. 

Older multipacks without the logo or barcode will not have a deposit charge. 


Is there maximum number of containers that can be returned at one time? 

No, there is no maximum number of drinks bottles or cans that you can return in one visit.   


Do I need the bottle cap for the bottle to return it? 

The bottle can be returned with or without the bottle cap. In the interest of recycling, it is preferred that the bottle be returned with the cap. 


What is not included in the scheme? 

Not every drinks container is eligible for Deposit Return. Only drinks containers in PET plastic bottles, aluminium & steel cans from 150ml to 3 litres are included in the Scheme. All drinks containers included in the Scheme will feature the Re-turn logo. 


Items that are not included in the deposit return scheme include:  

·       Any dairy drinks products in plastic containers or cartons e.g. milk, yogurt drinks 

·       Steel and tin cans that contain foodstuffs  

·       Containers for cleaning supplies 


These items should continue to be disposed of in a recycling bin.  


Glass drinks containers are also not included in the scheme and should be recycled as usual and brought to a glass and bottle bank. 


Why is Ireland launching a Deposit Return Scheme?  

The Deposit Return Scheme is a practical circular economy initiative that aims to create a closed loop recycling system guaranteeing the material is returned and recycled. The EU has set Ireland a target to separate and collect 77% of plastic beverage bottles and aluminium cans by 2025. This target will rise to 90% in 2029. We currently recycle approximately 60% of drinks containers and Deposit Return is a proven method of increasing recycling rates, with great success in several other European countries. 


Re-turn has created an FAQ page on the website for any questions which consumers may have, and they are strongly encouraged to reach out to if they have any further queries.   

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