Lidl Ireland will be offering vouchers in exchange for returned plastic bottles and cans upon installing “reverse vending machines” at all of its stores by 2023, which will make Lidl the first retailer to offer the option in Ireland.
A national deposit return scheme (DRS) is to be introduced next year to encourage recycling rates and reduce litter.
The details of this new scheme are to be announced by the government in the coming weeks.
The machines, which can collect and process up to 17,000 units a week, will accept PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles and aluminium cans, and will initially be provided at Lidl’s Dublin outlet in Glenageary.
Every unit that’s deposited will result in a 10 cent voucher up to a maximum limit of €2 that will be redeemable in-store.
It’s expected that up to 1,500 tonnes of plastic will be collected each year from the system and will be redirected to the manufacturing of new products.
Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan stated that the move taken by Lidl will enable the public to interact with a live DRS system and help in the rollout of a nationwide government-led scheme next year.
He added that he will sign the regulations for the national scheme in the coming weeks and then issue timelines that will allow retailers and producers to prepare for the scheme.