The projects, which will be piloted in Scotland, offer people a range of incentives, such as money back, discount vouchers or vouchers for donations to charities, for recycling glass, aluminium and plastic (PET) drinks containers. The aim of the projects, part of the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Scotland programme, is to 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 (pictured) 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.
“Years ago, we thought nothing of taking our empty glass bottles back to the shops with the added bonus of getting cash back in our pocket,” he said. “Now thanks to modern technology we are breathing new life into this traditional approach through the Recycle and Reward scheme.
“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.”
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.
Linton Scarborough, store manager at Ikea Edinburgh, said: “At Ikea, we are committed to ensuring sustainability is at the heart of what we do. We strive to be a good neighbour and we want to inspire and enable our customers to live a more sustainable life at home, helping them to save or generate energy, reduce or sort waste, use less or recycle water.
“We have a number of different sustainability initiatives in place in stores across the UK and also as a company, so we are thrilled to be the first business to trial the ‘Recycle and Reward’ scheme at both of the Scottish Ikea stores. We are excited about this great addition to IKEA Edinburgh and hope it will play a part in making sure recycling is always front of mind for both our customers and co-workers alike.”
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.