Iceland hails successful reverse vending machines trial
Iceland says that it has recycled more than a million plastic bottles since launching a trial of reverse vending machines in May 2018.
The company has been gaining feedback from its customers, who were given 10p vouchers for every plastic bottle returned, with 96% believing the scheme should be extended to all retailers. The main motivation for taking part has been environmental concerns, with 67% choosing this option above any others.
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Iceland has tested out the machines in five stores: Fulham, Mold, Musselburgh, Wolverhampton and Belfast. Two thirds of customers used them at least once a fortnight, and 75% believed the introduction of 20p deposits on plastic bottles would be a good idea.
Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland, comments: “Iceland was the first retailer to trial reverse vending machines and we believe the customer feedback we have received shows that our simple model of accepting all sizes of plastic drinks bottle – and extending this to include drinks cans - is the only sensible way to roll-out a deposit return scheme nationally.”
“We have more than 950 stores across the UK and with the support of the government we could fit a reverse vending machine in every one of our stores. With over one million bottles returned to just five of our stores, the positive environmental impact of having machines across the UK would be phenomenal.”
Walker’s comments come as the Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) is consulting with businesses, academics and members of the general public to determine how a national deposit return scheme should operate.