Iceland's reverse vending machines show they have the bottle

Iceland reverse vending machine [pic: Twitter.com/IcelandFoods]

Supermarket chain Iceland says a trial of reverse vending machines has been a big success, seeing 310,000 plastic bottles returned for recycling in just six months.

The installation of the machines – that issue 10p Iceland vouchers in return for every plastic beverage bottle – was in response to the government's proposed Deposit Return Scheme in England, and Iceland says its data suggests it would really work.

In November alone, customers returned an average of 2,583 bottles every day to the four machines, installed in Iceland stores in Fulham, Wolverhampton, Musselburgh and Mold. That's an average of £250 worth of coupons refunded per day.

Iceland reverse vending machines 2

Iceland says the campaign was an especially big hit with children, some of whom are teaching their parents about recycling, and some schools have got involved.

The trial will continues for another six months to obtain even more data.

Iceland's Managing Director Richard Walker comments: "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."

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