Lidl announces 2m bottles and cans collected and €200k paid to customers via DRS trial
Retailer celebrates milestone with Minister Ossian Smyth in Newbridge Co. Kildare distribution centre ahead of nationwide roll out
24 November 2023
Ahead of the nationwide deposit return scheme (DRS) going live in February 2024, Lidl Ireland has announced the milestone of 2 million bottles and cans collected through its deposit return machines in its stores in Glenageary, Co. Dublin and Claremorris, Co. Mayo.
Since becoming the first retailer to launch a DRS trial in September 2021, Lidl’s reverse vending machines have collected more than 888,700 bottles and 1,145,620 aluminium cans and voluntarily paid out more than €200,000 in money-back vouchers to customers which are redeemable in Lidl’s stores.
Lidl’s roll out of DRS machines will be in place in all 179 Lidl stores across the Republic of Ireland in early 2024. The retailer has also continued ongoing engagement with government on DRS, hosting a meeting with Minister of State Ossian Smyth and Lidl’s chief executive officer, J.P. Scally, to discuss Lidl’s learnings and plans for the roll out.
Visiting Lidl’s regional distribution centre in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Minister of State with responsibility for Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth, said: “Momentum is really building now for our February 2024 DRS go-live date. Producers and retailers around the country have been working extremely hard to get ready for the launch.
“Bringing back bottles and cans will quickly become second nature for people, meaning cleaner streets and more materials that can be successfully remade into new bottles and cans. DRS is going to be a truly significant milestone in Ireland’s transition to a circular economy,” Minister Smyth added.
Commenting on the announcement, J.P. Scally, CEO, at Lidl Ireland, said: “As the first retailer to implement a deposit return scheme trial in 2021, we are delighted to see how engaged our customers are with this initiative which demonstrates that sustainability has become a key priority for Irish consumers.
“As of November 2023, we are pleased to announce we’ve reached 2 million bottles and cans returned through the trial so far. The launch of DRS nationwide will require a significant shift in consumer behaviour, and we have prioritised paving the way with our customer base to facilitate a successful roll out of DRS in Ireland. Our proactive stance on the scheme not only underscores our position as industry-leader in sustainability but demonstrates our commitment to ensuring Ireland delivers on its promise to implement the Irish Government’s Waste Action Plan for Circular Economy with a simple, customer centric solution.”
Lidl has also been collaborating with its suppliers to utilise the recycled PET bottle material in the packaging of its products. At present, 30% of the total tray weight of the retailer’s own-brand Silver Hill duck product is made from bottles collected from the retailer’s DRS machines. This enables Lidl’s customers to buy back the material they inserted into their reverse vending machines and extends the impact of the Irish circular economy.
The reverse vending machines are simple to use and accept both plastic PET drinks bottles and aluminium cans purchased from Lidl and other retailers. At present, for every unit deposited a customer will receive a €0.10 voucher in return with a maximum voucher limit of €2. The machine can collect and process up to 17,000 units a week which is representative of approximately 1,500 tonnes in a year when rolled out to Lidl’s 179 stores nationwide.