Scotmid to reward customers for recycling

The scheme will initially run for a three-month period in Scotmid’s South Queensferry store

Scotmid Co-operative is piloting an eco-friendly scheme that will reward customers for recycling soft drink cans and plastic bottles.

As part of its Recycle and Reward initiative, the society has unveiled a reverse vending machine, which will trial for a three-month period at its South Queensferry store.

The device, produced by Tomra Sorting, means customers can return plastic and aluminium soft drink containers purchased at the South Queensferry store and receive rewards in exchange. They can choose between having 10p off their shopping bill and donating the amount to charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Scotmid hopes the scheme will reduce litter, improve the quality and quantity of recycled materials and increase opportunities for the public to recycle.

In June the Scottish government launched a consultation to explore options for a deposit return scheme on beverage containers.

Scotmid chief executive John Brodie said: “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 the 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.”

Related: Coop Norway’s latest battle in the war on waste

Keep Scotland Beautiful campaigns to improve Scotland’s environment. It runs provide environmental campaigns, services and practical initiatives to help the nation tackle environmental issues. This autumn, the charity will launch a new campaign, Upstream Battle, to reduce litter and promote recycling.

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.”

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