Scotmid launches deposit return

Scotmid chief executive John Brodie (left) gives deposit return a go in South Queensferry.

SCOTMID has become the latest retailer to pilot DRS with the introduction of a reverse vending machine (RVM) for drinks containers at its South Queensferry store.

Customers who purchase soft drinks from the store in either aluminium can or plastic bottle formats can now return their drinks containers in exchange for a voucher entitling them to 10p off their shopping per bottle – or choose to donate the proceeds to litter fighting charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

The Edinburgh-based multiple has introduced deposit return as part of the Recycle and Reward scheme, which has been trialling reverse vending at sites across Scotland including university campuses local authority properties.

Scotmid South Queensferry’s RVM was manufactured by Norwegian firm TOMRA, and is equivalent to those used as part of deposit return schemes operating in European nations like Germany, Norway, and Estonia.

John Brodie, chief executive of Scotmid, commented on the scheme: “Scotmid are really excited about launching this progressive initiative in our South Queensferry store – it matches our core values and principles as an ethical community retailer.

“Reverse vending machines have helped to transform recycling habits in Norway, Denmark and Germany and we believe that can also happen here in Scotland.

“Reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in landfill and decreasing the volume of litter found in Scotland’s streets, countryside and coastlines are the key objectives of not only the Scottish Government but all responsible retailers.

“We’re proud to have already forged a new partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful and we look forward to seeing the initiative help to achieve the objective of a beautiful Scotland.

Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Scotmid on this exciting initiative.

“Litter is an increasing problem in Scotland and we believe people must change their behaviour and do the right thing with their cans and bottles.

“We hope it will help encourage people to make recycling part of their everyday activities, removing the opportunity for single-use items like plastic bottles to become litter on land and in water.

“80% of litter in our seas starts life on land, and this vending machine is a great opportunity to show people they can take action on a local level to help keep Scottish communities clean, green and sustainable.”

For more on deposit return, see Scottish Grocer’s special feature on Estonian DRS, a system that operates on a model similar to the outline provided by Zero Waste Scotland.