REVERSE vending machines for recycling are set to strike a chord with Scottish festival-goers this summer, thanks to a new partnership between TOMRA and Co-op.

The retailer has teamed up with the reverse vending machine (RVM) company to launch a fully functional deposit return scheme (DRS) trial at the 16th Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival.

The link-up will see RVMs introduced within “recycling rooms” in the Co-op pop-up store at the festival, which is taking place on the Belladrum Estate near Inverness from August 1 to 3.

It will be a good opportunity for festival-goers to try out the technology following the Scottish Government’s recent announcement of its plans for an all-in DRS.

Scottish music lovers will pay a mandatory 10p deposit when they buy plastic bottles of up to two litres in size at the Co-op pop-up store. They can then use the machines located just outside of these pop-ups to return their empty bottles for recycling and get their deposit back in the form of a voucher to spend in the on-site stores.


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Alternatively, they can choose to donate their 10p to Keep Britain Tidy and any unclaimed deposits will also be donated to the nominated charity.

The easy-to-use machines accept only plastic bottles, and to help recycling and reduce littering across the festival sites, they will also accept bottles not bought at Co-op.

Managing Director of TOMRA Collection Solutions UK & Ireland, Truls Haug, said: “Ahead of the formal introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme in Scotland, this represents a great opportunity for Belladrum’s music fans to experience for themselves the ease and simplicity of reverse vending and deposit return.

“We are delighted to be supporting this great event and to have the chance to boost its sustainability credentials, while hopefully promoting good recycling habits for the future.

“TOMRA believes that a well-designed Deposit Return Scheme is the perfect example of a working circular economy.”

The fully functional deposit return scheme (DRS) trial will see RVMs at Co-op’s pop-up stores across seven major UK music festivals this summer.