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The Co-op is set to become the first UK retailer to trial a bottle deposit return scheme, as it will set up reverse vending machines at several UK festivals this summer.
Reverse vending machines will be installed on-site at a Co-op pop up store at the Download, Latitude and Reading & Leeds festivals, after the retailer partnered with Festival Republic.
To fund the deposit scheme, an extra deposit charge will be added to plastic bottles purchased at the pop-up Co-op store, which will be refunded to consumers in the form of a voucher which can be spent at on-site stores.
Bottles recycled at the festivals will then be recycled to create water bottles for the Co-ops own brand water bottles.
The move amid proposals from the UK government to introduce a bottle deposit scheme, though a date for the introduction of the scheme has not been finalised at this time.
Jo Whitfield, retail CEO, Co-op, said: “As the UK’s leading ethical retailer there’s nowhere better for us to start our trial of reverse vending machines than at some of the UK’s most well-loved festivals.
“Reducing the amount of plastic that makes its way to landfill is really important to us and our members. I’m excited that, in partnership with Live Nation and Recycling Options, we have the opportunity to bring these machines to the UK only a few months after they were officially given the green light by the Government.
“We’re committed to giving our customers ways to make more ethical choices, so this is a hugely exciting milestone in our sustainability journey to achieve our future aim of making all of our food packaging 100% recyclable.”
Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, added: “We welcome over 350,000 revellers across these four iconic festival sites.
“It’s absolutely fantastic to think that they will be amongst the first people in the UK to have the opportunity to recycle their plastic bottles simply and easily using the reverse vending machines, in addition to the existing deposit return schemes at the festivals.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020