Iceland extends "successful" plastic bottle recycling trial

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Three more Iceland stores are to be fitted with reverse vending machines for plastic bottles, as the company extends its “successful” plastic reduction trial which launched in Fulham last month.

Iceland’s chain of larger stores, The Food Warehouse, will see its first reverse vending machine installed in Wolverhampton today.

Machines will also be installed at Iceland’s Musselburgh store, in Scotland, this week and in Mold, North Wales, later this month.

The reverse vending machines accept Iceland’s empty plastic beverage bottles and repay customers with a 10p voucher for each recycled bottle to be used in store.

The six-month trials are designed to help the company better understand consumer perceptions and appetite for plastics recycling technology across the UK.

They come ahead of an expected government consultation into the launch of a national Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and will help Iceland provide insights that might support the creation of a national DRS.

Iceland Foods Group managing director, Richard Walker, said: “Today’s announcement is a further step in our commitment to tackling the issue of plastic pollution globally, following our pledge to eliminate plastic packaging from all of our own label products by the end of 2023.

“While our initial trial in London has been a success we feel it is important to include insights from consumers elsewhere in the UK to get a better understanding of the challenges we might face.

“At least one third of plastics, much of this relating to packaging, is single use and then discarded – plastic bottles are a prime example of this.

“Through our trials, we hope to understand how to make it easier for people to act in an environmentally conscious way while tackling the threat of the millions of plastic bottles that go unrecycled every day.”

It is estimated more than 12 million tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans every year.

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