reveals reverse vending machine trial success
Iceland has reported “significant consumer take-up” of its in-store trial of reverse vending machines, with more than 310,000 bottles recycled.
The retailer revealed that since the launch of the trial in May a total of 311,500 bottles have been scanned into the reverse vending machines in stores across the UK. The trial incorporated England, Scotland and Wales, with machines installed in Wolverhampton, Mold, Fulham and Musselburgh, as well as a machine for staff use at the retailer’s head office in Deeside. In November a daily average of 2,583 bottles were recycled across the five sites, with an average of £250 in coupons refunded per day, Iceland said.
In addition, the retailer conducted 40 interviews across the trial stores to understand consumer perceptions and appetite for the government’s proposed Deposit Return Scheme. Monetary rewards, environmental consciousness, additional recycling potential and assured recycling were all listed as key factors influencing the use of the scheme. The research found that children seemed particularly engaged with how the machines work, with some even educating their parents and encouraging them to use.
Richard Walker, managing director at Iceland, said: “We’ve gained hugely valuable insights into both consumer interest and the functionality of the schemes, and it’s clear from the results that consumers want to tackle the problem of plastic head on, and would be in support of a nationwide scheme.
“We’ll be using these findings to inform future Iceland initiatives, and will be sharing our findings with DEFRA and across the industry to ensure any nationwide roll-outs are comprehensive and effective in our goal of tackling the issue of single-use plastics.”
Iceland plans to extend the trial for a further six months to collect more data on the environmental impact of a potential national roll-out.