Bottles and cans can now be recycled using Lidl Ireland's reverse vending machines

Reverse vending: Lidl Ireland kick-starts deposit return scheme

Reverse vending machines have been installed in Lidl Ireland’s Glenageary store to support the launch of the retailer’s deposit returns scheme (DRS).

The reverse vending machines will enable customers to deposit used plastic bottles and aluminium cans in return for money-back vouchers which can be redeemed in Lidl stores. The ultimate aim of the DRS, when it is in full flow across Lidl’s Irish operations, is to redirect 1,500 tonnes of plastic from general waste streams, and allow it to be remanufactured into new products.

Lidl Ireland said: “Although the DRS is just at our Glenageary store at the moment, this is the beginning of a larger rollout across our stores with hopes to have a nationwide scheme in place by 2023 in line with government objectives.”

The reverse vending machines will accept both plastic PET drinks bottles and aluminium cans purchased at Lidl and from other retailers – meaning consumers looking to recycle for a reward can bring in packaging from rival grocers and other brands.

For every plastic or aluminium unit deposited, a customer will receive a €0.10 voucher in return, up to a maximum voucher limit of €2.

The reverse vending machine can collect and process up to 17,000 units a week which Lidl said is representative of circa 1,500 tonnes in a year when rolled out to its 170 stores nationwide.

Ossian Smyth, minister of state at the Department of the Environment, Climate & Communications (DECC), and the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform, was present at the launch of the scheme, on Friday.

“We welcome all business-led initiatives as important steps to delivering our ‘Waste Action Plan’ goals,” the DECC said in a statement on social media.

“We look forward to working with producers and retailers, through our working group, to support the rollout of similar initiatives as we move towards the introduction of a government-led ‘Deposit and Return Scheme’ in 2022.”

Read more about DRS on Green Retail World

[Image credit: Green Retail World]

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