Iceland recycles a million plastic bottles in deposit return scheme

Two thirds of customers used the reverse vending machines at least once a fortnight over the last year

Iceland has recycled more than one million plastic bottles since the launch of its reverse vending machine scheme in Britain last year.

The supermarket installed the reverse vending machines at stores in Fulham, Mold, Musselburgh and Wolverhampton in May and June 2018, before adding another one in Belfast in January this year.

The machines accept plastic bottles which can be scanned, following which customers get a 10p voucher to be used in the stores.

Data and customer insight from the scheme highlighted widespread customer support, with two thirds of customers using the machines at least once a fortnight and 75% saying the introduction of 20p deposits on plastic bottles would be a good idea.

Managing Director Richard Walker said: “The results from our reverse vending machine trials highlight the growing demand from consumers to have a deposit return scheme introduced across the UK.

“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.”

The supermarket previously pledged to eliminate plastic packaging from all of its own label products by the end of 2023.

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