22 February 2013

Scottish reverse vending trials to reward recycling

Nine organisations in Scotland are to pilot incentive schemes which will see people offered rewards such as discount vouchers or donations to charity for recycling empty bottles and cans.

The majority of the schemes will see reverse vending machines placed at a number of locations across the country including retail outlets, event venues, shopping centres, schools and colleges and will run until September 2013.

Richard Lochhead said he hopes the scheme will encourage more recycling

Richard Lochhead said he hopes the scheme will encourage more recycling

IKEA, Dundee University, Network Rail and North Ayrshire council are among the nine companies and organisations trialling the projects, which will reward people for recycling glass, aluminium and plastic (PET) drinks containers. The rewards will include money back or discount vouchers or donations to charities.

The schemes are being supported by 900,000 in funding from the Scottish Government (see letsrecycle.com story). If successful, it is hoped the schemes could be rolled out more widely.

The Scottish Government said it hopes the pilot projects, which are part of its Zero Waste Scotland programme, will encourage people to recycle more and limit the amount of used drinks containers going to landfill.

Impact

Scottish environment minister Richard Lochhead said: By offering customers incentives such as money back or vouchers for recycling their glass bottles and cans when out shopping, at college or travelling to work, I hope we can encourage more people to recycle on the go.

Each year, around 22,000 tonnes of plastic drinks bottles alone go to landfill in Scotland. If that was separated for recycling it could be worth around 6 million to the economy and thats why its so important that we help more people to recycle what they can. Even small steps like recycling more drinks containers can have a big impact on our environment. I hope this new scheme will encourage everyone to go that bit further, helping us to become a zero waste society. By taking small actions to go greener together we benefit Scotland today and for future generations.

Projects

Several projects have been awarded funding through the Recycle and Reward scheme. The local pilots will be independently monitored and evaluated to assess the potential impact the roll-out of similar schemes could have on recycling rates in Scotland. The pilot schemes are:

(l-r) Sofie Rogers, responsible for store sustainability at IKEA; environment minister Richard Lochhead; Iain Gulland, director Zero Waste Scotland; and, Sean McArthur, food manager and sustainability manager for IKEA

(l-r) Sofie Rogers, responsible for store sustainability at IKEA; environment minister Richard Lochhead; Iain Gulland, director Zero Waste Scotland; and, Sean McArthur, food manager and sustainability manager for IKEA

  • University of Dundee – An on-campus initiative, with on-site reverse vending machines placed in prominent areas for use by staff and students;
  • Cordia Services LLP – Reverse vending machines will be placed in the refectory areas of Glasgow Caledonian University for use by students and staff;
  • Heriot Watt University – An on-campus deposit and return initiative, with on-site reverse vending machines placed in prominent areas for use by staff and students;
  • Whitmuir Organics – A deposit and return pilot project for the collection of glass, aluminium and plastic (PET) containers at Whitmuir Farm;
  • North Ayrshire council – Reverse vending pilot for aluminium and PET at Garnock Academy, Ardrossan Academy and Largs Academy;
  • IKEA, in partnership with the Reverse Vending Corporation – Fully automated pilot for glass, aluminium and plastics (PET) with the two Scottish IKEA stores;
  • South Ayrshire council – Reverse vending machines will be placed at the Councils Community Recycling Centres in Troon and Marr College;
  • Network Rail – Reverse vending machines for aluminium and plastics (PET) to be placed in Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central rail stations for use by commuters; and,
  • Hebridean Celtic Festival – Reverse vending machines to be placed at the Celtic Festival.

IKEA

At IKEA, shoppers will be able to recycle any glass, plastic or aluminium drinks containers purchased from the restaurant, shop, or vending machines in their Edinburgh and Glasgow stores. Once returned and deposited through the machine, for each item shoppers will be offered the choice of a 10p voucher to redeem in-store or a 10p donation to one of the stores selected charities.

Related Links

Zero Waste Scotland

Linton Scarborough, store manager of IKEAs Edinburgh store, said: We have a number of different sustainability initiatives in place in stores across the UK and also as a company, so we are thrilled to be the first business to trial the Recycle and Reward scheme at both of the Scottish IKEA stores. We are excited about this great addition to IKEA Edinburgh and hope it will play a part in making sure recycling is always front of mind for both our customers and co-workers alike.


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