“As staunch believers in the importance of leveraging digital technologies to reverse stagnating recycling rates, we are encouraged that the Government is willing to consider a DDRS that can can work in tandem with reverse vending machines (RVMs), but disappointed at some of the perceived shortcomings.
“First and foremost, in response to support from both brands and consumers, it is pleasing the English, Welsh and Northern Irish Governments are open to pursuing a different path from Scotland, which has been tormented by concessions, delays and industry-wide criticism. A hybrid model will reduce the number of RVMs, thereby addressing directly many retailers’ concerns regarding costs and retail space, while increasing the number of return points, convenience and ease with which to recycle.
“That said, it is disappointing it has been argued the technology required to change the labelling of containers to facilitate a DDRS is not currently possible. Our partnership with Ocado Retail, in which we printed over 1.6m unique-every-time QR codes onto the retailers’ milk bottles, proved unequivocally that households would be able to redeem their deposits from home, a key component of a DDRS.
“We were equally frustrated that concerns over a digital model were raised regarding set-up and ongoing costs pertaining to increased fraud. Unique-every-time QR codes are in fact proven to reduce fraud and theft by preventing the multiple redemption of deposits by individual actors, a risk that persists with the RVM model.