In an Open Letter published recently 15 leading figures called on Environment Minister Eamon Ryan to expand the DRS to include all drinks containers including glass bottles as a matter of urgency.
The letter was signed by Fianna Fáil Senator Erin McGreehan and Independent Senator David Norris who were joined by Professors Jane Stout and Amber Davies of Trinity College Dublin.
Voice Ireland, Friends of the Earth Ireland, Greenpeace, and An Taisce all backed the call.
Current Government proposals would see a flat 20 Cent deposit rate for all containers in the Scheme but the letter calls for a variable deposit to be introduced.
It states, “The draft design of the scheme proposes a model where consumers will pay a deposit on all plastic drinks bottles and aluminium cans.
“With containers of all materials found on Ireland’s beaches, capturing only plastic bottles and aluminium cans is short-sighted.
“We call on the government to expand this scheme to capture more drinks containers, most importantly, glass. This will allow the flexibility of moving the DRS to collect glass bottles for reuse at a future date, which is a more environmentally sound use of materials.”
The letter continues, “Last month a Voice Ireland poll backed by Friends of the Earth Ireland revealed almost nine-in-10 people want a DRS that is as comprehensive as possible.
“This means a scheme encompassing glass bottles, metal cans and plastic drinks bottles. Some 78% too want a variable deposit in which a higher deposit is levied on large plastic bottles and a lesser fee on smaller drinks containers.
“Today we ask the Government to listen to the people and re-think these DRS plans before it’s too late.”
The Government is set to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme by 2022.