The supermarket chain Lidl is testing a deposit return system for plastic bottles, in which customers receive vouchers in return.
The company says its reverse vending machine is now in use at its Glenageary store in Dublin, with more to come.
The machine enables customers to deposit used plastic bottles and aluminum cans in exchange for money-back vouchers.
These vouchers with a value of up to € 2 can then be redeemed in the shop.
Lidl says its reverse vending machines aim to divert 1,500 tons of plastic that will then be made into new products.
Our deposit return trial starts today in Glenageary! We are happy to announce our redemption machines to facilitate the first deposit return system in the country. pic.twitter.com/ZX20c7nD6U
– Lidl Ireland (@lidl_ireland) September 3, 2021
“While the refund system is currently only in place at our Glenageary store, this is the beginning of a larger roll-out in our stores with the hope of having a nationwide system in line with government goals by 2023,” it says.
The reverse vending machines accept both plastic PET beverage bottles and aluminum cans that have been bought from Lidl and other retailers.
For each paid-in unit, a customer receives a 10c voucher in return – with a maximum voucher limit of € 2.
The machine can collect and process up to 17,000 units per week, which, according to Lidl, amounts to around 1,500 tons per year if it is introduced in all 170 branches nationwide.
However, this is not Ireland’s first foray into reverse vending machines.
Back in 2019, the first return machine in the country started in Co Monaghan with the aim of encouraging people to recycle their plastic bottles.
This allowed people to recycle their bottles and gave them 10 cents worth of coupons.
While the government previously announced Plans for a deposit and return system for plastic bottles and cans by 2022.
The plan, according to which a deposit is returned for every recycled plastic bottle or aluminum, is to increase the recycling rate to over 90% in the coming years.