Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Customers – how will the DRS affect you?

Customers – how will the DRS affect you?

When you buy drinks in containers covered by the scheme, made of mostly

  • PET (type 1 plastic)
  • Glass
  • Aluminium
  • Steel

the shop must have clear signs telling you if you will pay a 20p deposit on each container.

If the deposit does apply, then you will be able to return the container to that shop and collect the 20p deposit.

If the shop is exempt from collecting returned containers, then they will tell you where you can take them.

This alternative place to return the drinks container will be close by, and could be either a nearby shop or a machine that accepts drinks containers. Both will refund you the 20p that you paid the shopkeeper.

Don’t return drinks containers that are:

  • Not part of the scheme (e.g. purchased before 1 July 2020)
  • Soiled
  • Broken or damaged
  • Not empty

You shouldn’t return more drinks bottles than you would reasonably be expected to buy at any one time. Shopkeepers can refuse to accept very large quantities brought back all at once.

In this guideline:

What is the Deposit return scheme?

Customers - How will the DRS affect you?

Drinks producers - what must you do?

Retailers - What must you do?

Hospitality sector - What must you do?

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