NOTE: This content is old - Published: Friday, Jun 15th, 2018.
Deeside based Iceland has launched its first reverse vending machine in Wales today, shoppers can now swap empty plastic bottles at the the firm’s Mold store in return for a 10p voucher.
The installation is part of a wider UK trial to help the company “better understand consumer perceptions and appetite for plastics recycling technology across the UK” Iceland says.
The trial at Mold Iceland follows similar in-store trials in Fulham and Wolverhampton in England, and Musselburgh in Scotland.
Reverse vending machines reward individuals for recycling, by providing money or vouchers in return for empty containers.
The reverse vending machine in Mold will accept Iceland’s empty plastic beverage bottles and repay customers with a 10p voucher for each recycled bottle to be used in store.
Iceland became the first supermarket in the UK to trial the machines in May.
The initiative comes ahead of the expected launch of a national Deposit Return Scheme, to which the UK and Welsh Governments have announced their commitment in principle.
The aim is to understand customer reaction to a Deposit Return Scheme and provide government and industry with insights that might support the creation of a national scheme.
Iceland Foods Group Managing Director, Richard Walker commented:
“Iceland has a long history of campaigning and leading positive change for the environment and earlier this year we committed to become the first major retailer globally to eliminate plastic packaging from all our own label products by the end of 2023.
“It’s hard to ignore the impact plastic is having on the environment globally, and so we feel now is the time to test the impact incentives like reverse vending machines can have on our behaviour.
“This trial, however, is just one step in our journey towards reducing the amount of plastic waste and hope that our findings will contribute to a solution that works for retailers as well as consumers.”
The Welsh Government Minister for Environment, Hannah Blythyn, said:
“Reducing unnecessary waste is vital to preserving our natural environment.
“I welcome innovation by producers and retailers to reducing waste and it’s great to see a Wales-based company like Iceland working to reduce single-use plastics in their stores.”
It is estimated more than 12 million tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans every year, putting the lives of all forms of marine life at risk, from larger animals through to plankton, and there are fears that toxins originating from plastics are then re-entering the food chain via seafood.
Iceland announced in November last year that it would be supporting Greenpeace’s call to the Government to adopt the Deposit Return Scheme for bottles.