Lidl launches first-of-its-kind bottle return scheme

Lidl has become the first supermarket to launch a deposit-free bottle return scheme trial in Glasgow that is expected to save 10.5 tonnes of plastic and aluminium material being recycled each month.

For each eligible item they return – made from either polyethylene terephthalate (or PET plastic) or aluminium – customers will receive 5p back that can be redeemed against their shopping or donated to Lidl’s long-standing charity partner, The STV Children’s appeal.

The launch comes after Scottish Government delayed the introduction of its Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) from its original go-live date of 16 August 2023.

Lidl’s own scheme will ensure that shoppers can continue to use the infrastructure that had already been put in place by the supermarket.

Unlike DRS, Lidl’s bottle return scheme does not place a deposit on the retail price of the original product.


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The supermarket expects the pilot will result in a minimum 10.5 tonnes of plastic and aluminium material being recycled each month, with the material which will be retained and used to create new plastic and aluminium product.

Chief commercial officer Richard Bourns commented: “We’re on a mission to eliminate all unnecessary waste, and with over 95% of our own-brand packaging now recyclable, reusable, or refillable we’ve been making great progress.

“We know that Lidl shoppers share this passion, and we hope that utilising this infrastructure, which might otherwise have been left dormant, will help to make recycling their cans and bottles even more convenient for them.

“With our extra incentive thrown in, and no cap on the number of items that can be recycled, it’s a win-win for all.”

Circular economyMaterials and packagingNewsRetail

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