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August 23, 2019

Iceland recycles one million plastic bottles with reverse vending

Supermarket chain Iceland’s reverse vending machine trial has seen one million plastic bottles recycled since its introduction in select stores in May 2018.

Supermarket chain Iceland’s reverse vending machine trial has seen one million plastic bottles recycled since its introduction in select stores in May 2018.

As part of the pilot, the retailer received extremely positive feedback from more than 95% of shoppers asking it to extend the scheme further.

The company initially introduced the trial in Fulham, Mold, Musselburgh and Wolverhampton followed by Belfast in January.

It also closed the trial at The Food Warehouse in Wolverhampton and instead installed a new machine at a store in Merrion Centre, Leeds, in July.

According to the company, two-thirds of customers used the machine at least once in 15 days, and 75% of customers would support the introduction of 20p deposits on plastic bottles.

Iceland 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 bottles – 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.”

In July, Iceland announced a pilot to completely remove plastic bags from its store in Hackney, London.

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