Lidl Ireland has become the first retailer in Ireland to roll out reverse vending machines for a deposit return scheme.
The machines will enable customers to deposit used plastic beverage bottles and aluminium cans in return for money-back vouchers redeemable in-store.
The reverse vending machines will aim to redirect 1,500 tonnes of plastic annually that will then be manufactured into new products.
The trial is the beginning of a larger rollout across Lidl’s store network with an ambition of having a nationwide scheme in place by 2023 in line with Government objectives.
The reverse vending machines are simple to use and will accept both plastic PET drinks bottles and aluminium cans purchased at Lidl and in other retailers.
For every unit deposited a customer will receive a €0.10 voucher in return with a maximum voucher limit of €2. The machine can collect and process up to 17,000 units a week which is representative of approximately 1,500 tonnes in a year when rolled out to Lidl’s 170 stores nationwide.
Commenting on the launch, Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications said: “The support of the Irish public, and a willingness to adapt behaviours, will be essential if we are to successfully transition to a circular economy in the coming years.
“The reverse vending machine, which Lidl is launching today as part of a pilot Deposit and Return Scheme, is a welcome development.
“It will enable the public to interact with a live Deposit and Return Scheme system, while providing valuable feedback that will help in the roll-out of a nationwide Government-led scheme next year.”
J.P. Scally, chief executive of Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland, said: “Sustainability is at the core of our business, and we are exceptionally proud to be first-to-market with this industry-leading approach to a Deposit Return Scheme.
“As a retailer with a significant footprint across the country, we have an opportunity to drive real change where consumer habits are concerned, and hope that our trial will help to support and inform other retailers, large and small, in their efforts to roll out the nationwide scheme in line with legislative changes in 2022.”