UK Shoppers Get £30k In Trial For Reverse Vending Machines

‘Reverse vending machines’, the latest development from supermarket chain Iceland, might be the next thing for vending machine delivery services and RMA logistics, as they’re gaining some popularity across the region.

The UK chain has made a test run of their own versions of the ‘reverse vending machines’, in order to cut down on littering across the country, with vending machine delivery service called in to install more. Their trial run had British shoppers earning of more than £30,000 by recycling plastic bottles. The machines reward people with a voucher, with a value of 10p, for every plastic bottle deposited at the shop.

There were 4 machines deposited in stores across the UK; Wolverhampton, Mold, Fulham, and Musselburgh, on top of the one in Iceland’s head office; located in Desside.

According to the latest figures, 311,500 plastic bottles have been recycled ever since the ‘reverse vending machines’ were rolled out in June.

The supermarket chain said that the children were particularly engaged with the bottle recycling scheme, and some of them were even the ones who encouraged their parents and families to use the machines.

Iceland Managing Director Richard Walker, Iceland has always been a leader when it comes to fighting against plastic since making our announcement to eliminate plastic from their own-label product packaging. Launching these new reverse vending machine trials in their stores, he says, is merely one of the ways they maintain this reputation.

Walker says that they’ve gained a lot of insight into consumer interest, as well as the functionality of the schemes, and the results make it clear that consumers do care and that they want to tackle the problem of plastic head on and would be in support of a nationwide scheme.

Iceland has become the first UK supermarket to go through installing reverse vending machines but other chains have also followed in their footsteps. Tesco, Morrisons and the Co-op, are also running trials but have yet to release their results.

Head of Oceans at Greenpeace UK, Will McCallum, welcomed these results, and urged the government to ensure similar schemes are rolled out so more and more plastic can be recycled. He says that their success demonstrates that deposit return schemes to boost recycling and that tackling plastic pollution are both popular with consumers, possible, and profitable for RMA logistics and other companies.