Sainsbury’s launches reverse-vending trial to boost plastic recycling

UK – UK leading supermarket chain, Sainsbury has launched reverse vending machine trial at its Lincoln store in commitment to boost plastic recycling.

The Reverse Vending Recycling will allow customers to return plastic bottles of any size up to 3 litres and drinks cans bought from Sainsbury’s in exchange for 5p coupons towards their shop.

Up to 500 items can be deposited per customer, which means customers could save up to £25 off their shopping, according to Sainsbury.

The Reverse Vending Recycling trial is the latest in a line of steps Sainsbury’s is taking as part of its drive to cut plastic by removing, reusing, replacing and recycling.

“Our customers want to use less plastic, so I am determined that Sainsbury’s continues to find ways to help them do that,” said Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe.

“Allowing customers to refill their own water bottles and re-use food containers is further evidence of our commitment to reduce unnecessary plastic waste.”

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The move builds on its sustainability plan with a focus on reducing carbon footprint, promoting sustainable and healthy products, and making its supply chain sustainable in areas of water vulnerability.

Recently, the retail chain announced that it was the first UK supermarket to remove plastic bags for loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items from all stores, offering paper and re-usable bags made from recycled materials and removing 489 tonnes’ worth plastic.

Countries and food and beverage brands are adopting reverse vending recycling to tackle the problem of plastic waste, and countries with these schemes in place achieve recycling rates of approximately 80-95%, compared with an estimated 59% in the UK.

Last year, Iceland introduced the reverse vending system, allowing customers to recycle plastic bottles.

The launch which came after the government revealed plans for a bottle deposit scheme is said to have seen over 310,000 bottles recycled over the first six months of the trial.

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