February 27, 2013

‘Recycle and Reward’ schemes, offering people money back for recycling empty plastic bottles and other materials including glass and aluminium will be piloted in Scotland.

IKEA, Dundee University, Network Rail and Whitmuir Organics are amongst the nine companies and organisations trialling the projects, which will reward people for recycling PET drinks containers through a range of incentives such as money back, discount vouchers or vouchers for donations to charities.

It is hoped that the local pilot projects, part of the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Scotland programme, will encourage people to recycle more and limit the amount of used drinks containers going to landfill.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment, Richard Lochhead, visited IKEA in Edinburgh to see the first of the ‘reverse vending’ machines and hear how the retailer is introducing the scheme in its Scottish stores as a key part of its sustainability programme.

At IKEA, shoppers will be able to recycle any glass, plastic or aluminium drinks containers purchased from the restaurant, shop, or vending machines in their Edinburgh and Glasgow stores. Once returned and deposited through the machine, for each item shoppers will be offered the choice of a 10p voucher to redeem in-store or a 10p donation to one of the stores’ selected charities.

Mr Lochhead said: “Each year, around 22,000 tonnes of plastic drinks bottles alone go to landfill in Scotland. If that was separated for recycling it could be worth around £6 million to the economy and that’s why it’s so important that we help more people to recycle what they can.”

Iain Gulland, Director, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “It’s vital that we consider fresh approaches to boosting recycling rates and capturing the value of materials which would otherwise be sent straight to landfill. Through this pilot, we want to assess the impact of this approach which has proved successful around the world, including in Germany, South Australia and Scandinavia. It’s important we change the way people view waste in Scotland and we’ll be looking at how incentivising these recycling schemes impacts on recycling rates and complements other schemes designed to capture valuable materials, including kerbside, recycling centres and banks.”

In total, nine ‘Recycle and Reward’ schemes will be piloted at 14 locations including retail outlets, event venues, shopping centres, schools and colleges, as part of the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Scotland programme. The local pilots, which will run until September 2013, will be independently monitored and evaluated to assess the potential impact the roll-out of similar schemes could have on recycling rates in Scotland.

February 27, 2013

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