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Lolly gets behind (and ahead of) the Deposit Return Scheme

Written by Jessica Cross


Chris Lennon, product manager at Lolly, discusses the work the development team have undertaken to prepare for the launch of the Deposit Return Scheme for their customers in Ireland

According to reports, over two million drink containers were cashed in during the first month of the Deposit Return Scheme, which launched in Ireland in February 2024[1].


The Deposit Return Scheme – supporting recycling

In a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), consumers are charged an additional deposit fee when they purchase a drink in a single-use container. This deposit, which acts as an incentive to support recycling, is redeemed when the consumer returns the empty container to a return point. If the container isn’t taken back, then the deposit is retained.

Following the launch of the scheme in Ireland, which has also become a legal requirement, Lolly saw requests from Irish clients to help them manage the running of this through their EPoS systems.


 What has Lolly developed and launched?

The Lolly development team set to work building DRS functionality, which applies the deposit values across its PoS, self-serve and pre-order applications – enabling consumers to return their empty drinks containers to any store (not necessarily the one they purchased from). Provided that store sells the drink in question (with barcode verification), the 15 cent (or 25 cents for large containers), deposit is redeemed via Lolly PoS, or they can be offered discounts against future purchases.


Where next?

A number of countries run similar schemes, and obviously it has seen real success in Ireland so far.

According to recent reports, The UK Government is at risk of breaking its manifesto commitment to deliver the DRS. The flagship scheme has been in development with Defra since 2017, and it was part of the 2019 Conservative manifesto. Organisations, including Coco Cola and Greenpeace are calling on ministers to introduce the recycling scheme[2].

It will be interesting to see where this all goes, but one thing is for sure – we have learnt a lot from the launch in Ireland and if and when the time comes that our other clients need the functionality and support, we are firmly on the front foot.

We can build the framework rapidly – by simply putting a value against each product and enabling the hospitality provider to import relevant products across using the simple to use ‘Lolly Importer’. A redemption process can then be added to the till, so that everything is in place from an end user perspective – to deliver a swift and seamless transaction.


[1] https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/deposit-return-scheme-figures-february-32279429

[2] https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/uk-news/2024/03/13/government-risks-breaking-manifesto-pledge-to-deliver-bottle-deposit-scheme/

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