Re-Turn, Ireland’s initial venture into a deposit return scheme, is set to go live on February 1st, 2024. The main objective is to incentivise the population to dispose of single-use drink containers correctly. Overall it will encourage recycling and reduce littering, as individuals are more likely to responsibly dispose of items to retrieve their deposits. Collected materials contribute to sustainability by minimising the environmental impact of single-use items and promoting a circular economy.
What is the Deposit Return Scheme and how does it work?
From February 1st 2024, if a consumer buys a drink that features the Re-Turn logo you will pay a deposit on top of the cost of the deposit. It will then be up to the consumer to return the undamaged receptacle to the return banks. You may have noticed these areas being set up in or near your local supermarkets. Customers will simply deposit the containers, the machine will scan the bar code and issue a voucher. These vouchers can then be used as money off your next purchase in this store.
So how will we adapt to this new scheme?
Over the years, Ireland has embraced similar eco-focused initiatives, with the plastic bag levy being the poster child. The nation welcomed paying a levy on single-use plastic bags. We adapted to bringing our reusable shopping bags - following numerous turns inside the shop door and hurried dash back to the car. But we knew as a whole this was a positive change, plastic bags were a blight on our landscape and detrimental to marine life.
Initial research by Amárach, a leading research agency, suggests that “82% of consumers support the introduction of the deposit return scheme and 95% of consumers plan to engage with the circular economy initiative.”(rte.ie, 2024)
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Will this also apply to online shopping?
In short, yes! Many of us do our shopping online and also use home delivery services. Retailers selling any drink containers falling under the parameters of the scheme will need to ensure their compliance.
Deposit Return Scheme - Online Store Checklist
We recommend the retailers implement the following steps to ensure that their stores are compliant.
- Identifiable Products: Ensure that products that are subject to the deposit are marked for the consumer. This will ensure they incur additional costs in advance of checkout. We recommend this for both individual product pages and product listing pages. (See mobile screen 1)
- Auto-add Charges: When an eligible product is added to a basket, the deposit is automatically added. This will help maintain a more streamlined shopping experience while adhering to guidelines of informing the consumer before they add the item to their cart. (See mobile screen 2)
- Account for Variables and Adjustments: As different deposits depend on the container size and quantities we recommend that you ensure all variables are considered before implementing. Ensure that if products are adjusted or removed from baskets the system will also remove the deposit from the total. (See mobile screen 3)
If you would like to find out more about getting your online store compliant for Ireland’s Deposit Return Scheme, you can reach out to us here at StudioForty9.