UK retailer Iceland will extend its trial of in-store reverse vending machines by installing new machines at several of its UK stores this month, as the supermarket aims to tackle the issue of plastic waste.
Iceland became the first UK supermarket to install a reverse vending machine last month, and new machines will now be introduced to its stores in Musselburgh, Scotland, Mold, Wales and at the Wolverhampton branch of the company’s The Food Warehouse chain.
The reverse vending machines reward consumers for recycling, by providing money or vouchers in return for empty containers such as plastic bottles.
Iceland’s reverse vending machine accepts any Iceland plastic beverage bottle and repays customers with a £0.10 voucher to be used in store for each bottle recycled.
These machines have been installed as part of a six-month trial scheme in anticipation of the possible introduction of a bottle deposit scheme by the UK government.
Iceland claims that data gathered by the trial will allow both the retailer and the government to assess the viability of a national bottle deposit scheme.
Iceland foods group managing director, Richard Walker commented: “Today’s announcement is a further step in our commitment to tackling the issue of plastic pollution globally, following our pledge to eliminate plastic packaging from all of our own label products by the end of 2023.
“While our initial trial in London has been a success we feel it is important to include insights from consumers elsewhere in the UK to get a better understanding of the challenges we might face.
“At least one-third of plastics, much of this relating to packaging, is single use and then discarded – plastic bottles are a prime example of this.
“Through our trials, we hope to understand how to make it easier for people to act in an environmentally conscious way while tackling the threat of the millions of plastic bottles that go unrecycled every day.”
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