The Federation of Independent retailers (NFRN) has warned that, while it supports the Irish government’s plans to introduce a deposit return scheme (DRS), the timescale involved may be too ambitious.
In its response to a consultation on the legislative framework and scope of the scheme, the NFRN believes lessons learned from its involvement with a similar scheme in Scotland point to the planned implementation of DRS in Ireland by the third quarter of 2022 as extremely challenging.
The NFRN stands fully behind the government’s desire to speedily implement a deposit return scheme. But it is very mindful of the challenges that lay ahead in producing an effective and robust scheme that works for retailers and producers, both large and small, and that gains the support of the wider public across Ireland.
NFRN National President Stuart Reddish said:
From our previous experience, we know it will take time to design, agree and implement a workable scheme, with the variety of stakeholders and agreements and contracts to be made.
The fact that the Scottish government, having delayed the implementation of DRS once, is now holding a ‘Gateway Review’ that will in all probability delay the launch again, could be seen as acknowledging the difficult path to introducing DRS.
We look forward to engaging with the Irish government and industry stakeholders to build a robust scheme, negotiate handling fees and agree the legal structure. However, we hope that the government will show appropriate flexibility as to this date, as the complexities of creating the scheme are addressed by industry stakeholders.