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Majority think all drink containers should be part of waste refund plan

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Put a bottle or can in and get deposit back under scheme

Put a bottle or can in and get deposit back under scheme

Put a bottle or can in and get deposit back under scheme

Nearly nine out of 10 people believe all drinks containers should be included in Ireland's deposit return scheme (DRS), a survey has found.

The scheme would see people receive a deposit for every plastic bottle they recycle.

A poll by environmental charity Voice Ireland found 88pc favour an "all-in" model to tackle the waste crisis.

It showed a majority of Irish people support the inclusion of metal cans, plastic water bott- les, plastic milk bottles, glass bottles, coffee cups and drink cartons and pouches.

The Government is set to introduce a DRS for drinks containers next year, with a proposed model where consumers pay a deposit on all PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic drinks bottles and aluminium cans.

Research found the public wants the scheme broadened significantly to include as wide a range of materials as possible.

Recycling rates for glass in Ireland, which is excluded from the scheme, fell from 86pc to 78pc between 2018 and last year, while few of the 200 million single-use coffee cups used each year are recycled.

Seventy-eight per cent of those questioned also said they backed the introduction of a variable deposit fee, where people pay a deposit that depends on the container's size and material.

Levied

Campaigners want a higher deposit levied on plastic drinks bottles (one litre and above) than the current 20 cent charge on drinks containers proposed by the Government.

Opinion was pretty consistent across the age ranges, with 90pc of 25 to 34-year-olds seeking a scheme that includes as many drinks containers as possible.

The Government is currently consulting on the design of the scheme.

Last year, Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) found five out of six of Ireland's beaches and waterways are not considered clean enough to meet European standards, and drinks containers of all materials contribute to more than a quarter of litter found by weight.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment estimates litter cost local authorities €107m in 2018. Dublin accounted for 30pc of that.

"Our neighbourhoods, beaches and waterways are under siege from throwaway containers of all materials, including thousands of plastic and glass bottles, cans and coffee cups," Voice Ireland coordinator Mindy O'Brien said.

"We must do this at the beginning of the programme so we don't create market disruptions that could sway producers and consumers away from more sustainable materials toward less environmentally suitable material solely because it is not included in the DRS or because the deposit was less expensive.

"We hope this DRS will morph into a system that facilitates the take-back of reusable containers."


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