Lidl has launched a trial, return-deposit scheme at select stores across Scotland ahead of Scottish Government plans for a similar venture nationwide.
The money-back recycling service will be available at four stores located in Hamilton, Edinburgh Granton, Glasgow Yoker and Dundee city centre.
The deposit machines allow undamaged bottles and cans that were originally purchased in Lidl to be returned in exchange for a redeemable voucher.
Included in the recycling scheme are undamaged soda bottles and cans, water bottles, wine bottles, beer bottles and all aluminium cans, each worth 10p, with a maximum voucher value of £2.50, redeemable to spend back in the store.
Once collected, the bottles and cans are then recycled to become new drinks containers, creating a circular economy, and using fewer natural resources and less energy.
In preparation for the trial, Lidl worked closely with the Scottish Government and its key delivery partners, including Zero Waste Scotland.
The Scottish Parliament has passed regulations to bring in a deposit return scheme by July 2022, involving charging shoppers a 20p refundable deposit on drinks cans and bottles.
Ross Millar, Lidl’s regional director for Scotland, said: “This is a huge milestone for Lidl, and one we have been working towards for several years.
“We’ve made a significant investment to install large scale, contactless, user-friendly and future-proofed machines for our valued customers.
“This initiative reinforces our commitment to sustainability, enables our shoppers to redeem money to spend in-store and supports the Scottish Government in reaching its waste reduction targets.
“The trial will help consumers get to grips with these recycling stations, the first of their kind in the UK, by showcasing the benefits and ease of using them.
“We look forward to rolling out the best performing solutions to all of our Scotland stores in the year ahead.”
Deposit-return schemes are already established in many countries where they are helping to tackle climate change and reduce litter.
As part of this testing phase, Lidl will gather insights ahead of installing the innovative recycling facilities across all of its 105 Scotland stores by July 2022.
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Scotland’s deposit return scheme will make it easy for everyone to do something good for the environment.
“It’s great that this trial will give people the chance to give it a go for themselves and see just how straightforward it is.
“Just by taking back your empty bottles and cans, you’ll be helping to put a stop to the waste of raw materials that are driving the climate crisis.”