The Global Language of Business

Legislation and Definitions of the DRS

These Regulations enable the establishment of a Deposit Return Scheme in Ireland with a view to promoting the increased recovery and recycling of packaging waste. The DRS is intended to achieve:

  • the separate collection targets for PET plastic bottles (as per Directive (EU) 2019/904)
  • the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment and
  • the recycling targets for aluminium (as established in Directive (EU) 2018/852) 

Read S.I. No. 599/2021 - Separate Collection (Deposit Return Scheme) Regulations 2021


Directives, Regulations and Acts

The legislation under which the Deposit Return Scheme was established is the "Separate Collection (Deposit Return Scheme) Regulations 2021" which came into operation on 20th November 2021.

The regulation follows Directive (EU) 2019/904/EC of the European Parliament (to achieve the separate collection targets for PET plastic bottles) and Directive (EU) 2018/852 ((amending Directive 94/62/EC) on packaging and packaging waste).

The “Act” means the Waste Management Act 1996.

Deposit Return Scheme

“deposit return scheme” means a scheme under which the consumer at the point of sale pays an amount that is not part of the sales transaction, referred to in these Regulations as “the deposit”, for in-scope product within the scope of these Regulations, on condition that the deposit is refunded to the consumer when the empty in-scope bottle or in-scope container is returned to an approved return point;


“in-scope bottle” means a beverage bottle described in Regulation 3(1) without the beverage contained in it;

“in-scope container” means an aluminium or steel beverage container described in Regulation 3(2) without the beverage contained in it;

“in-scope product” means an in-scope beverage bottle or in-scope beverage container described in Regulation 3 together with its contents when sold;

These Regulations apply to beverage bottles which are manufactured from polyethylene terephthalate (PET bottles) with a capacity of up to 3 litres and beverage containers which are manufactured from aluminium or steel with a capacity of up to 3 litres. These Regulations do not apply to plastic beverage bottles which are not manufactured from PET, and aluminium or steel containers which are not designed to contain a beverage.

Producers and Retailers

“placed on the market” means the first sale or supply of an in-scope product for the purpose of trade or otherwise in the course of business in the State;

“producer” means any person, irrespective of the selling technique used, who is first to place in-scope products on the market in the State;

“retailer” means any person who for the purpose of trade or otherwise in the course of business sells or otherwise supplies in-scope products to a final consumer;

“return point” means a premises registered in accordance with Regulation 15 to take back in-scope bottles and in-scope containers.