Recycle and Reward Reverse Vending – Zero Waste Scotland – Cash for cans and bottles

21st February 2013 to 21st February 2014

1 year of Reverse Vending in Scotland at IKEA Edinburgh and IKEA Glasgow

Recycle and Reward ay IKEA

At IKEA, shoppers are able to recycle any glass, plastic or aluminium drinks containers purchased from the restaurant, shop, or vending machines in their Edinburgh and Glasgow stores. Once returned and deposited through the machine, for each item shoppers will be offered the choice of a 10p voucher to redeem in-store or a 10p donation to one of the stores’ selected charities.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment Richard Lochhead said:
“Years ago, we thought nothing of taking our empty glass bottles back to the shops with the added bonus of getting cash back in our pocket. Now thanks to modern technology we are breathing new life into this traditional approach through the Recycle and Reward scheme. By offering customers incentives such as money back or vouchers for recycling their glass bottles and cans when out shopping, at college or at a music festival, I hope we can encourage more people to recycle on the go.

1 Year ago today the Scottish Government’s Environment Secretary has helped to launch the first ‘Recycle and Reward’ Reverse Vending schemes in Scotland aimed at encouraging people to recycle empty bottles and cans.
The machines at both IKEA Glasgow and IKEA Edinburgh have worked without fault for over 12 months, both IKEA and their customers are very happy with the “Recycle and Reward” project.
(L-R) Sofie Rogers, Store Sustainability Responsible (IKEA); Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment; Iain Gulland, Director Zero Waste Scotland; Sean McArthur, Food Manager and Sustainability Manager (IKEA) in front of a reverse vending pilot project for glass , aluminium and PET at the Edinburgh IKEA store.

(L-R) Sofie Rogers, Store Sustainability Responsible (IKEA); Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment; Iain Gulland, Director Zero Waste Scotland; Sean McArthur, Food Manager and Sustainability Manager (IKEA) in front of a reverse vending pilot project for glass , aluminium and PET at the Edinburgh IKEA store  February 21st 2013.

Part of the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Scotland programme, this pilot programme will look at ways in which schemes which offer incentives such as vouchers, donations to charities or money back may increase recycling rates and reduce the amount of used drinks containers going to landfill.
IKEA Reverse Vending Machine gives 10p reward for each used IKEA drink can or bottle returned through a Reverse Vending Machiine

IKEA Reverse Vending Machine gives 10p reward for each used IKEA drink can or bottle returned through a Reverse Vending Machine

Iain Gulland, Director, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “It’s vital that we consider fresh approaches to boosting recycling rates and capturing the value of materials which would otherwise be sent straight to landfill. Through this pilot, we want to assess the impact of this approach which has proved successful around the world, including in Germany, South Australia and Scandinavia. It’s important we change the way people view waste in Scotland and we’ll be looking at how incentivising these recycling schemes impacts on recycling rates and complements other schemes designed to capture valuable materials, including kerbside, recycling centres and banks.”

Iain Gulland, Director, Zero Waste Scotland,

Iain Gulland, Director, Zero Waste Scotland, said:
“It’s vital that we consider fresh approaches to boosting recycling rates and capturing the value of materials which would otherwise be sent straight to landfill.  
“Through this pilot, we want to assess the impact of this approach which has proved successful around the world, including in Germany, South Australia and Scandinavia.  It’s important we change the way people view waste in Scotland and we’ll be looking at how incentivising these recycling schemes impacts on recycling rates and complements other schemes designed to capture valuable materials, including kerbside, recycling centres and banks.”
The aims of these trials are to understand public acceptance of such schemes and the impact they might have in terms of increasing recycling rates and the quality of materials deposited as well as seeing whether they help prevent litter. I’ve talked up the importance of these trials over the past year, not because I’m particularly pro-deposit return, but because I’m keen to have a debate about what the future might hold for recycling systems here in Scotland.
I’ve been lucky to see deposit schemes in operation around the world.  In some areas they have helped recycling rates for packaging such as plastic bottles and cans reach 85%, compared with current rates in Scotland of less than 30%. Deposit schemes appear to engage with consumers in a way that many of our kerbside collections only dream about. Isn’t it time we wondered why?

But increasing recycling isn’t the full story. Quality of material is also important, especially if our priority is how to best benefit Scotland’s economy.

In Adelaide in Australia, I toured an aggregation centre for their deposit scheme that has been in place since the 1970s. There I witnessed bales of the highest quality plastics bottles, and cans. An established system for collecting plastic to such an obvious high quality would, I believe, strengthen the business case for plastics reprocessing facilities in Scotland, bringing investment and jobs as well as quality material recycled back into production. A report from Spain on a proposed deposit scheme there suggested that as many as 14,000 jobs could be created. What could a deposit system mean for Scottish jobs?

Of course I accept that there are counter arguments and potential consequences of  moving to a deposit scheme approach and I am, as ever happy, to debate these.  I think it is essential we continue to think about how we collect materials in order to develop our economy, not just for today but into the future.

Anyone who saw the History of Rubbish series on the BBC last year will know that collections systems have always evolved and I have a feeling that things will change again.  Of course, that might not just mean deposit schemes; it could also include shifting to service models, buying not leasing, or more retailer take-back schemes.

We are increasing our understanding of how important it is to look at the whole system in terms of resource supply and use.  The trials we launched today may or may not hold all of the answers, but at the very least they should ignite a debate on how systems might be re-thought to ensure we do get the most from our resources, just as we all believe we should.

Please visit Zero Waste Scotland Website for more informtion

To learn more, please visit the Scottish Governments Website
Reverse Vending at IKEA

IKEA Reverse Vending Machine gives 10p reward for each used IKEA drink can or bottle returned through a Reverse Vending Machine

What is Reverse Vending ?

Reverse Vending Machines, (RVM’s) are automated machines that utilise advanced technology to identify, sort, collect and process used beverage containers.

The IKEA “Recycle and Reward” project is an Award Winning Project

Ross Burns a Project Manager from Zero Waste Scotland – was voted as the winner of the “Young Recycler of The Year” 2013

Young Recycler of the Year Award 2013 - Winner Ross Burns - host Sally Magnusson - Hugh Stewart Shank

Young Recycler of the Year Award 2013 – Winner Ross Burns – host Sally Magnusson – Hugh Stewart Shank

The IKEA  “Recycle and Reward” Project also won the coveted Gold Green Apple Award

Ross Burns "Young Recycler of the Year 2013

Ross Burns “Young Recycler of the Year 2013

Please contact Reverse Vending Corporation for further information > website 
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