Iceland has recycled more than one million plastic bottles since the start of its Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) trials in five stores last May.
The frozen food specialist said customers had responded “extremely positively,” to the RVM trials and that with the government’s support, it would willingly fit an RVM in every one of its 950-plus stores.
The trials highlighted “widespread consumer support,” for the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) with two thirds of customers using the machines at least once a fortnight, and 75% believing that the introduction of 20p deposits on plastic bottles would be a “good idea,” Iceland said.
Environmental concerns were the primary motivation for people using the RVMs, with 67% choosing this option above any others.
Iceland managing director Richard Walker said: “The results from our RVM trials highlight the growing demand from consumers to have a DRS introduced across the UK.
“Iceland was the first retailer to trial RVMs and we believe the customer feedback we have received shows that our simple model of accepting all sizes of plastic drinks bottle – and extending this to include drinks cans - is the only sensible way to roll out a deposit return scheme nationally,” he said.
“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 one million bottles returned to just five of our stores, the positive environmental impact of having machines across the UK would be phenomenal,” Walker added.
The bottle return data and customer insight was taken from Iceland’s five stores that had RVMs installed during the last year: Fulham, Mold, Musselburgh and Wolverhampton in May-June 2018, and Belfast in January 2019.
The trial at The Food Warehouse in Wolverhampton ended in July 2019, when a new machine was installed at the Iceland store in the Merrion Centre, Leeds.