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Bottle return scheme could be rolled out in Ireland in coming months

Ireland could see a bottle return scheme introduced in the coming months.

As part of efforts to get people recycling more, a bottle return scheme could be in place fairly soon.

It would see a deposit of around eight to 22 cent placed on plastic containers that would be refunded when recycled.

Environmental policy fellow at UCD, Cara Augustenborg, explains how it works

"What it would mean is that you would pay a deposit of around somewhere between eight to 22 cent when you purchase a beverage in a plastic bottle.

"Then you would be able to return that bottle somewhere whether it is a vending machine or a return centre and get your money back."

Pilot schemes

Ms Augustenberg says that a pilot scheme was tried out in Monaghan last year:

"So people were funded 10 cent for any bottle they brought, obviously they didn't have the deposit in there as much because that is something we have to do nationally.

"Even in the first two months 50,000 bottles were collected so we have seen it work in pilot schemes. Also at Electric Picnic a few years ago Friends of the Earth used to run a similar scheme called cash for cups."

She says the main concern with the scheme will come from curb side waste collectors who will lose a revenue stream from the cans and bottles people are currently putting in the green bin.

However, she says it is a great incentive to get people to recycle and in countries like Norway it has brought rates of recycling up by 95 per cent.