Climate Action

Iceland’s ‘reverse vending machines’ reach one million plastic bottles recycled

Iceland supermarkets have recycled over one million plastic bottles in just over a year, thanks to a trial of ‘reverse vending machines’ in five of its UK stores.

  • 27 August 2019
  • Django Zimmatore

Iceland supermarkets have recycled over one million plastic bottles in just over a year, thanks to a trial of ‘reverse vending machines’ in five of its UK stores.

The huge number of bottles recycled since the machines were introduced in May 2018 is especially impressive considering that only five stores - Fulham, Mold, Musselburgh, Wolverhampton and Belfast had reverse vending machines during this trial period.

Over two thirds of customers in these stores used the reverse vending machines at least once a fortnight and customer feedback on the machines was positive with over 95% of customers believing a similar deposit return scheme should be extended to all retailers.

The machines encourage customers to recycle their plastic bottles by giving them a 10p voucher off of their shopping for each bottle recycled, yet it isn’t just about getting the water bottle deposit back for most customers.

Over two thirds of customers return the bottles for environmental reasons and 75% of customers would also want to increase the water bottle deposit to 20p to encourage even more people to recycle their bottles.

Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland, said: “The results from our reverse vending machine trials highlight the growing demand from consumers to have a deposit return scheme introduced across the UK. We have more than 950 stores across the UK and with the support of the government we could fit a reverse vending machine in every one of our stores.”

“With over 1 million bottles returned to just five of our stores, the positive environmental impact of having machines across the UK would be phenomenal.”

For more information on reverse vending machines click here.