Reconomy demos reverse vending at IWFM Conference
The UK government recently announced plans for a national deposit return scheme which is scheduled to begin in Scotland in 2022 and the rest of the UK in 2024. Reverse vending machines are a highly efficient recycling machine that is used by the general public to deposit empty single-use drinks containers in return for a monetary of non-monetary reward.
Once the machines are filled, the compacted bottles and cans are collected for onward recycling. The benefit of reverse vending over traditional recycling bins is they ensure the cleanest loop of recycling – no contamination from other litter or bottled filled with liquid. This means the waste can’t be contaminated and won’t end up being downcycled.
The introduction of the deposit return scheme aims to create a consistent approach to the way consumers can recycle drinks bottles and cans and puts responsibility and ownership of the collection (and recycling) on to the brands and retailers supplying consumers with this packaging (waste) rather than it being with the local councils to collect in public places or at people’s homes.
A small extra deposit is added on to the price of drinks sold in plastic and glass bottles and cans. Once consumers return the container for recycling the deposit is redeemed. Zero Waste Scotland expects the system will enable collection of 90% of drinks containers and will reduce 34,000 plastic bottles, cans and glasses from being littered each day in Scotland, saving £62 million a year.
Reconomy exhibited at the recent IWFM Conference and showcased its EcoVend RVM400. Featuring a large video display screen for messaging or advertising and an easy-to-use operating screen, the machine has a capacity of up to 500 PET bottles or 700 cans. There is a fantastic opportunity for the Facilities Management sector to explore the introduction of these into customer sites as a way to help them prepare for the upcoming deposit return scheme across the UK. Reverse vending machines are ideal for shopping centres, hospitality and leisure facilities, schools and educational sites, supermarkets, transport hubs and service stations and office developments.
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