Photo: Gordon Macdonald MSP, Joanna Cherry MP and pupils from Pentland Primary School using the Reverse Vending Machine at the Premier Broadway Convenience Store in Oxgangs
For the next three months, customers at the Premier Broadway Convenience Store in Oxgangs will be able receive 10p for every empty plastic bottle or can returned to the reverse vending machine in the store. The store is also giving customers the option to donate their 10p to Pentland Primary School and have pledged to match all donations.
Gordon Macdonald, MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands, joined pupils from Pentland Primary School’s Eco Group, alongside local MP Joanna Cherry, for the launch.
At the launch, Gordon, who is Convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Independent Convenience stores, said, “These pilot schemes will prove to be important for learning how a deposit return scheme can best work for retailers, particularly Scotland’s many independent stores. I’m delighted that stores in Edinburgh are at the forefront of these initiatives and I look forward to seeing how customers respond to the trial scheme and to the new technology in store.
“I commend Dennis and Linda from the Broadway Convenience Store on securing one of Scotland's first reverse vending machines to help the community take action against plastic waste and litter, and at the same time supporting Pentland Primary.”
MP for Edinburgh West, Joanna Cherry, said, “It’s fantastic to see independent stores in Edinburgh taking the initiative to not only trial reverse vending machines for the sake of the environment, but supporting their local communities in the process. I congratulate the store owners and encourage everyone in the local area to get involved.”
The trials are part 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. The scheme aims to increase recycling rates and reduce littering. Countries that have introduced similar schemes (such as Sweden, Norway, and Germany) have achieved higher recycling rates and cleaner environments.
The store-owner, Dennis Williams, said, “We are very excited to be one of the first local stores in Scotland to offer cash for empty plastic bottles and cans. It’s not just about recycling and doing our bit to save the planet, but also about bringing together the community together. We’ve very proud to be supporting Pentlands Primary School with this initiative and hope that the funds will help to purchase new equipment or supplies.”
The reverse vending machines have been provided by international manufacturer Envipco, who has teamed up with the Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) to deliver the trials. Recycling company Viridor is supporting the initiative through the collection and recycling of empty containers. All participating stores are members of the Scottish Grocers Federation.