Words: Dylan Murphy
Cash for cans!
Environment Minister and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has suggested giving people 20c for every empty can they return.
Germany has a system where consumers can return empty bottles and cans into machines and receive vouchers in exchange for their efforts.
Minister Ryan has begun a public consultation process in order to get a feel from people within the industry and the wider population before launching the scheme. The paper has suggested that consumers should receive €0.20 per bottle or can to incentivise them to recycle.
Mr Ryan said, “If we are to get the benefits of a circular economy we need to adapt our approach to how we use and manage our resources.”
“We must strive to keep resources in circulation for as long as possible and the introduction of a DRS is a first step in this as we need to collect and recycle more plastic bottles and aluminium cans.”
“It will also help to reduce litter and will ensure we meet the EU targets which are coming down the tracks. This consultation paper is the first step in this process and I hope interested stakeholders and members of the public take the time to consider the issues around DRS and support its introduction.”
A department spokesman said: “The primary function of a DRS is to increase recycling rates and support the circular economy by keeping materials in productive use and reducing demand for new materials.
“They have also been shown to assist in the reduction of littering of beverage containers.”