Aldi, Co-op and Morrisons trial whole-town digital deposit return scheme

Supermarkets Aldi, Co-op and Morrisons are part of a whole-town trial of a digital deposit return scheme taking place throughout July 2023 in Brecon, Wales.

Although there is no deposit part of the scheme, The Grocer reported that more than 4,000 households can claim a 10p reward each time they recycle drink containers with the trial, which includes PET bottles, cans, gas and Tetra Pak products.

Supermarkets running the trial, which is being supported by major suppliers including Nestlé and Danone, expect to see around 250,000 product returns during the three-month period.

The first town trials of the digital deposit return scheme were due to take place in Welshpool last autumn.These were postponed and cancelled after Tesco pulled out when Scotland announced its delay to the nation-wide deposit return scheme after the UK didn’t remove exclusions for glass bottles.

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DDRS Alliance consultant Duncan Midwood told The Grocer there was a growing belief that digital would be a major part of the solution for deposit return scheme, saving retailers the huge expenses involved in employing a network of reverse vending machines.

While the trial includes glass it will only be returnable via kerbside collections, with Midwood saying it “avoided the nightmare” of glass being returned to stores.

“Momentum is building behind digital,” said Midwood. “I’m as confident as I ever have been that a digital deposit return scheme is the future, but that is not to downplay the barriers ahead in making it happen.”

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