Two Republic of Ireland-based food retailers, SuperValu and Centra, have joined forces to aid the country’s deposit return scheme (DRS), which is set to commence on 1 February. 

The two retailers made a €28m ($30.50m) investment to install a total of 667 reverse vending machines (RVMs) in 540 stores throughout the 26 counties of Ireland. 

This extensive network of machines ensures that communities, both large and small, have convenient access to recycling facilities. 

Starting next month, the RVMs will be available at 219 SuperValu and 321 Centra stores across the country.

Early trials of the RVMs in 2023 have led to the decision to place two machines in stores with higher footfall.

SuperValu and Centra project that the RVMs will collect more than 320 million containers annually, with an estimated 90% of recyclable polyethylene terephthalate bottles and aluminium cans sold in-store being returned. 

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SuperValu and Centra managing director Ian Allen said: “As part of our strategy to build more sustainable communities and play our part in protecting the planet, we are delighted to roll out the DRS scheme across our 540 SuperValu and Centra stores. 

“Investments in DRS complement other environmental initiatives undertaken by retailers, such as installation of solar panels, the implementation of fridge doors for energy conservation, LED lighting, and efforts to reduce packaging.  

“These collective actions show the commitment to reducing our overall climate impact and growing sustainably every day.”  

In 2018, SuperValu and Centra commenced the sale of Frank and Honest’s range of 100% compostable coffee cups

These cups can be thrown away in domestic brown bins and organically recycled in commercial composting facilities.