How to recycle your plastic bottles in Ireland and get paid- From Feb1st

Happy New Year!

First of all, let me all wish you a happy 2024!  May last year I was in Germany visiting Leipzig ,as part of the delegation, to take part in the annual Velocity conference. You can read my report here or visit my other website

When I was there, I took a picture of a till receipt. I had bought many things, including drink bottles, and noticed that every time I bought a plastic bottle, I was charged 25 cents for “Pfand” loosely translated as “Deposit”. And at the time I thought, I should write an article on the German Pfand System, knowing it was coming to Ireland in 2024! Life took over, the receipt remained on my desk, and every so often I thought about writing the article, but never got around doing until today…

Pfand on a German shopping Receipt


Recycling of plastic bottles and cans is coming to Ireland

The impetus to finally write the article was when I was in my local Aldi in #Gort where I noticed a brand new machine where you can deposit your drink bottles and cans and get your deposit… from February 1st! Hurray!

Image of a return vending machine( RVM)

So how does this machine work?

Check out the video below and visit the website that has the finer detail what you bottles qualify/disqualify, how much you get and where.

My take-aways for now

  • It only starts February 1st 2024
  • Deposit : You will pay a deposit when you purchase a bottle or drink can ( see till receipt above) 15c will apply to containers from 150ml to 500ml inclusive and a deposit of 25c for containers over 500mls to 3 litres inclusive.
  • How do I get my deposit back? When you return it you get your deposit back
  • If you “find” a drinking bottle/ drinking can with the logo, you can also return it , cashing in 15 Cents/ 25 Cents ( nice fundraiser?)
  • Anything bought prior to February 1st doesn’t qualify, unless it has the recycle logo
  • Not everything qualifies, if the bottle or can is damaged, it doesn’t qualify ( not clear why this is)
  • Not every drink container is eligible for Deposit Return. Only drinks in PET plastic bottles, aluminium & steel cans from 150ml to 3 litres are included in the Scheme.
  • Glass drinks containers & All dairy products. Eg. Milk, yogurt drinks are not included but should still be recycled
  • Also : remember to clean the bottle/can before depositing

Learn from the Deposit scheme in Germany

There are plenty of videos on Youtube about the Pfand system in Germany, it was introduced there in 2002, so hopefully we can learn how to to make is also a success in Ireland. I just picked one of an American describing the trials and tribulations of the Pfand System, it’s quite funny! Start at 6:20 to see the machine in action 🙂

So how does the recycling process work ?

check out this video on how some Lidl bottles get recycled

Share and Enjoy !

Posted in Co. Galway, General, West Of Ireland.

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