SGF member stores launch reverse vending machine trials

reverse vending machine

Three Scottish stores from the Nisa, Premier and Keystore symbol groups are set to take part in reverse vending machine (RVM) trials.

The trials are the result of a collaboration between SGF, RVM manufacturer Envipco and recycling company Viridor. They come ahead of the Scottish Government’s introduction of a deposit return scheme for empty drinks containers.

From mid-February through to April, customers at SGF member stores Nisa Local and Post Office in Bellshill, Premier Broadway in Oxgangs, Edinburgh and Keystore in Moredun, Edinburgh will receive 10p for every empty plastic bottle or can deposited into Envipco’s on-site Flex machines.

Viridor will collect and recycle the empty containers deposited into reverse vending machines at the three stores.

Measuring 60cm wide, Envipco says its Flex machine is the smallest footprint RVM with compaction technology on the global market. It can store up to 600 crushed cans and 300 flattened plastic bottles.

The trials are an important opportunity for SGF to both learn how the retail sector can adapt to the scheme and understand how their consumers will respond to the technology.

Dr John Lee, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at SGF, said: “These trials will give us invaluable learning and insight into deposit return, particularly how shop staff and customers respond to having an RVM sited in-store.

“This learning will ultimately help us develop and implement a system which is effective for retailers, consumers, and communities.”

The stores will involve their local community in the trial, giving customers the option to support local fundraising campaigns instead of collecting their 10p deposit per container.

Abdul Majid, owner of Nisa Local Bellshill, said he was delighted to be involved.

“The support we are receiving from Envipco and Viridor is making this possible. This will help local people to recycle, reduce litter and improve the local environment,” he said.

Viridor is supporting the trial to gain first-hand experience of the operations and logistics of a deposit return scheme. Its Local Authority Contracts Manager Hugh Booth said: “This trial shows how important partnership is to making that happen – the whole chain working together – retailers, recyclers, manufacturers and back again.”