Ireland set to launch container return scheme sans glass

The Irish government has signed regulations for a Deposit Return Scheme for the country, which will exclude glass, to come into effect in 2022.

The scheme will collect plastic bottles and aluminium cans, with Ireland’s Department of the Environment working alongside industry to draft the regulations.

The regulations will provide the framework for selecting a scheme operator and set out the obligations on producers, retailers and return point operators.

According to the Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the country boasts a recycling rate of 84% for glass in 2019. Plastic packaging had a 28% recycling rate in 2019 with the majority of the remainder (69%) going to waste to energy incineration*. Denmark, Sweden and Norway also achieve high recycling rates for glass outside of a CRS.

The Glass Packaging Forum believes New Zealand could achieve similar recycling rates with a shift to regulated product stewardship for all container glass and standardisation of kerbside collections.

*Source: The Circular Economy of Glass Packaging for the New Zealand Wine Industry and the Impact of a possible Container Deposit Scheme.