LEADING international reverse vending machine (RVM) manufacturer Envipco has teamed up with the Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) and UK retail chains to deliver landmark recycling trials in Scottish convenience stores.

The trials come ahead of the Scottish Government’s introduction of a deposit return scheme, which will reward the public with cash deposits for returning empty beverage containers for recycling.

From mid-February through to April this year, customers at SGF member stores Nisa Local and Post Office in Bellshill, Premier Broadway in Oxgangs and Keystore in Moredun, Edinburgh, will receive 10p for every empty plastic bottle or can deposited into Envipco’s on-site Flex machines.

Recycling company Viridor will be supporting the trials through the collection and recycling of empty containers deposited into RVMs at the three stores.

Envipco’s Flex machine flattens empty bottles and cans, allowing for storage of up to 600 cans and 300 plastic bottles.

The stores will give customers the option to support local fundraising campaigns instead of collecting their 10p deposit per container.

The initiative will aim to increase recycling rates and reduce littering, with countries that have introduced similar schemes – such as Sweden, Norway, and Germany – achieving high recycling rates and cleaner environments.

The trial will provide an opportunity for Envipco to ensure that its technology is fit-for-purpose in Scotland, particularly given the relatively high frequency of small and medium-sized grocery stores.

The retail sector is impacted by the responsibility to receive, store and dispatch empty drinks containers and pay the deposit back to consumers.

For the SGF, these trials are an opportunity to both learn how the retail sector can adapt to the scheme and understand how consumers will respond to the technology.

Dr John Lee, head of policy and public affairs at the SGF said: “These trials will give us invaluable learning and insight into deposit return, particularly how shop staff and customers respond to having a RVM sited in-store.

“This learning will ultimately help us develop and implement a system which is effective for retailers, consumers, and communities.”