Aldi launches its first reverse vending machine in Ireland at Mitchelstown store

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Atherstone, United Kingdom

Aldi introduced its first ever reverse vending machine trial in Ireland at its Mitchelstown store in Co. Cork, with plans to expand the trial to its Mallow and Naas stores in the coming months.

Aldi’s new recycling trial comes with a twist, with €1,000 being donated to charity partner Barnardos on a monthly basis for the duration of the trial. This is the first time in Ireland for a reverse vending machine scheme to establish a direct fundraising link to an Irish charity.

Customers are encouraged to return PET plastic bottles up to three litres and aluminium drinks cans to the reverse vending machine in Aldi’s Mitchelstown store with €1,000 per month donated to Barnardos.

Aldi’s reverse vending machine is capable of collecting and storing up to 3,000 plastic bottles or 12,000 cans at any given time. If rolled out nationally to Aldi’s 149 stores, over time this could potentially see an estimated 146 million bottles and cans recycled annually throughout the Aldi store network.

Commenting, Colin Breslin, Regional Managing Director, Aldi Ireland said: “We’re delighted to kickstart our reverse vending machine initiative today here in Mitchelstown with a monthly donation of €1,000 going to our charity partner Barnardos for the duration of the trial. We’ve decided to reinvent the idea of reverse vending, enabling customers to give to a good cause like Barnardos who do amazing work with vulnerable children and families. It’s a simple concept that makes recycling attractive to shoppers, benefits the environment, and gives back to society.”

Barnardos CEO Suzanne Connolly welcomed the donations from the initiative: “We are delighted to benefit from Aldi’s new recycling trial of a reverse vending machine. It will help make a real difference to the vulnerable children and families we work with, because childhood lasts a lifetime. Barnardos has been supporting children and families for 60 years, and we know the impact €1,000 per month generated from this inventive scheme will have on the lives of children across Ireland.”

Aldi established a long-term partnership with Barnardos in 2020 with the aim of raising €1 million for the children’s charity. The supermarket has raised over €440,000 for Barnardos to date through a series of exciting initiatives including the launch of its first cookbook ‘Home’, alongside the IRFU, with all profits going towards Barnardos’ Early Years and Family Support Services. 

Aldi also partners with FoodCloud, providing surplus food to those who need it most. To date, Aldi has donated 2.35 million meals to FoodCloud, equating to a saving of almost €3 million for the charity while also benefiting the environment saving an equivalent of 3.2 million tonnes of CO2.

Aldi was voted Ireland’s most sustainable supermarket by Irish shoppers in the 2021 Ireland RepTrak® Sustainability Index.  In 2021, Aldi was the first retailer in Ireland to commit to planting 1 million native Irish woodland trees by 2025 in partnership with Green Belt.

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