​Morrisons Introduces Plastic Bottle Reverse Vending Machines In New Trial

Hot off the heels of a similar scheme that Iceland recently introduced, supermarket Morrisons has now launched 'reverse vending machines' that give customers money back for returning their plastic bottles and cans.

The machines are being trialled for six months at branches in Skipton, North Yorkshire and Lindsayfield in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire.

The supermarket has said that the machines have been brought in because it wants to reduce its impact on the environment.

Morrisons group corporate services director Andrew Clappen said: "We want to play our part in making sure plastic bottles are collected and recycled. We'll listen to customers as they use these machines."

The reverse vending machines will accept all plastic bottles bearing a barcode, as well as Morrisons own-brand bottles that don't have one.

Customers can return up to 20 bottles a day, and in return they'll get points to spend in store.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Iceland was the first supermarket to introduce the scheme, announcing the news back in May.

A spokesman for Iceland explained in a statement that the groundbreaking trial would allow the company to gain insights in order to 'maximise the positive environmental impact of the national initiative'.

Iceland's Managing Director, Richard Walker, said: "We're the first supermarket to take decisive action to bring the reverse vending machine into stores, following the announcement of the government's support for a deposit return scheme in England.

"We're doing it properly, through consultation with suppliers and by gaining understanding of how customers will act in response to the machine."

This also followed the Government's announcement that it may be introducing a bottle deposit scheme, which would make people pay a deposit upfront each time they buy a drink in a container.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Responding to the news of Iceland's trial, Michael Gove said: "I applaud Iceland for leading the way with their trial scheme. It is absolutely vital we act now to curb the millions of plastic bottles a day that go unrecycled.

"Support from businesses will be a vital part of ensuring we leave our environment in a better state than we found it."

Plastic takes anywhere between 500-1,000 years to break down - which means that virtually every piece of plastic ever made still exists in some form, much of which is polluting our waters and killing marine wildlife. And, despite the fact that the world is creating more and more plastic each year, only around five percent of this is effectively recycled.

Here's hoping these innovative reverse vending machines are a sign of much, much more to come.

Featured Image Credit: Morrisons

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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