Tesco Test-Runs Paying UK Customers For Returned Plastic Bottles


    The biggest retailer in the United Kingdom, Tesco, is stepping up its efforts to encourage its shoppers to recycle plastic bottles. It is trialing in-store recycling machines which will pay customers for every bottle that they have returned.

    The government of the United Kingdom has said that it wants to work with the industry to clamp down on the tremendous waste that litters the land and sea each year.

    According to data from the UK government, the United Kingdom was able to recycle only 57 percent of the bottles that were sold in 2016. It is considered to be well behind the rates that were achieved in, for example, Denmark where a deposit-return scheme has boosted the rates to 90 percent.

    On Thursday, Tesco said that the trial of “reverse vending machines” will be taking place at various stores located in the north of London, Borehamwood, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Swansea. The first-ever machine opened in Borehamwood. The customers were paid 10 pence for every bottle that they were able to return.

    The trial launched by Tesco comes after the launch of similar initiatives by Morrisons, the Co-operative, and Iceland, the No. 4, the No. 6 and the No. 9 grocers, respectively, of the United Kingdom.

    Tesco has a UK grocery market share of 27.4 percent. It cited the polling data by YouGov which discovered that almost 75 percent of Brits would be likely to return the plastic bottles and aluminium cans under a reverse vending scheme.

    Tesco said that starting the 3rd of October, customers would also be able to reuse their own plastic containers when purchasing cheese, meat, or fish from deli and fish counters in stores in the United Kingdom.

    The group has pledged to make all its packaging fully compostable or recyclable by 2025. It also urged the UK government to introduce a consistent nationwide approach to recycling.

    The United Kingdom has been able to reduce the use of plastic bags since 2015 by charging 5 pence for every bag.