Polytag teams up with DDRS Alliance for UK digital deposit return scheme

Two firms leading the way on a UK digital deposit return scheme are teaming up to accelerate the development and adoption of digital deposit return schemes (DDRS) in the UK.

The not-for-profit company DDRS Alliance is teaming up with recycling technology company Polytag, which has undertaken deposit return scheme trials with the likes of Ocado and The Co-op. DDRS Alliance ran its own 16-week DDRS trial in Brecon, Wales.

The DDRS Alliance is planning a significant trial in London which will leverage Polytag’s tech, as the companies look to showcase the virtues of a digital deposit return scheme.

The DDRS scheme has shown positive results in its initial trial backed by companies such as Aldi and Morrisons in Brecon. Through the trial, consumers claimed 10p for every bottle they recycled by scanning an app.

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The alliance comes amid ongoing delays to the UK government’s problematic DRS which has been temporarily “halted”. The project is currently expected to be delayed until 2028, ten years after it was first announced.

The two firms plan to work collaboratively to prove that a deposit return scheme is viable in the UK.

Duncan Midwood, co-founder of the DDRS Alliance, said: “Deposit return schemes have demonstrated across Europe that consumers respond to a financial incentive to return drink containers for recycling.”

Alice Rackley, CEO of Polytag, said: “Countries across Europe, like Serbia and Spain, are already seeing and reaping the benefits of digitally supported recycling systems. It is high time more nations, including the UK, do the same.

“Our collaboration with DDRS Alliance will ensure we can strengthen our position and continue to demonstrate why a digital scheme will be better for brands, retailers, government, consumers and the environment.

“We will integrate our scalable, practical, and above all, ready-to-deploy solution into existing infrastructure across the UK and further afield.”

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