HomeShoppingDublin Airport has ‘no plans’ to install return scheme machines despite its...

Dublin Airport has ‘no plans’ to install return scheme machines despite its shops charging deposits on bottles and cans

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The shops, which are obliged by law to charge the 15c to 25c deposit on bottles and cans, are also obliged to take empties back and return the deposit.

However, passengers who have already left the shopping area for the boarding gates, or who want to take their drink on board, have no practical way of being repaid.

The issue was highlighted by passenger Simon Martyn who bought a bottle of Coke and a packet of crisps to bring on a flight last weekend. He said when he realised he could not get his deposit back, he rang the scheme operator, Re-turn, to ask what his options were.

“The answer I got was that I’d have to bring it with me on my trip and then bring it back undamaged,” he said.

“Alternatively, I could put the drink in a flask and return the bottle in the airport shop but where would I get a flask?”

The Re-turn website shows two return points in the airport but clarified that these were not reverse vending machines, but rather WHSmith and Boots – the shops that sold and took back containers manually.

Sligo-born Mr Martyn who lives in Ballinteer, Dublin, said he had already gone to his boarding gate by the time he called Re-turn. “If there was a return machine close to the departure gates, I may have used it, but where would I have spent the voucher?”

Vouchers must be spent or redeemed for cash in the outlet that provides the machine.

Mr Martyn said he would only be able to spend it if he was back in the same terminal in future and kept it until then.

Although there is an option to redeem vouchers for money, he said: “I’d feel like a scrounge going to get 15c cash back. And I wanted to take it and my Tayto on the flight.”

A Dublin Airport spokesperson stressed that food outlets in the airport, like all cafes, were exempt from the scheme. “Regarding reverse vending machines in our airports, it is something our operations evaluate, but we have no current plans,” they said.

Mr Martyn said he supported recycling and had never not recycled bottles and cans at home.

“But three weeks ago I drove to Newry and bought a tidy amount of beer – enough to do me a few months,” he said.

“I saved about €100 even with buying diesel, toll costs and the exchange rate.

“And I’d have no problem doing it again.”

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