Recycling group Veolia and restaurant chain Leon have started a deposit-return scheme to facilitate on-the-go recycling.
Unveiled at King’s Cross in central London, the reverse vending machine takes plastic bottles and aluminium cans and for each one deposited dispenses a voucher for 10% off the bill at the nearest Leon restaurant.
Leon co-founder and CEO John Vincent said: “We’re really excited about this partnership with Veolia because we know that, as an industry, we need to push for the right facilities and infrastructure to ensure better recycling and reuse – this is a great step forward.
“And we can’t wait to welcome all the recycling warriors into our restaurants and reward their efforts with a little thank you from us.”
Veolia chief technology and innovation officer Richard Kirkman added: “A UK-wide deposit-return scheme is imperative if we want to round up the millions of stray plastic bottles and cans we as a country are not recycling.
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“This pilot Veolia is conducting with Leon is the yardstick for the on the go recycling. Located in a high footfall area and targeting the drinks containers most commonly misplaced – plastic bottles up to 750ml and aluminium cans – the machine offers an alternative to carrying recyclable items home or discarding as litter.”
King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership sustainability manager Steven Kellet said: “We want King’s Cross to continue to be an exemplar of sustainable development and we see the way in which waste is managed as a key part of this.
“We are proud that we don’t send any waste to landfill but we want to improve the amount of plastic waste that gets recycled from public areas and ultimately eliminate single-use plastics.
“This is why we are delighted to be involved in this new initiative in partnership with Veolia and Leon which we hope will further increase the amount of waste that is recycled on site, and help King’s Cross become an even greener place to work, live and play.”
Research by YouGov shows that 64% of people are motivated to recycle because of an obligation to the environment.