Sainsbury's to trial Deposit Return Scheme

Date : 28 August 2019

Sainsbury’s is testing a reverse vending technology designed by Tomra Collection Solutions, a reverse vending specialist. The solution is compatible with glass, PET bottles and cans.

The trial, which will take place in Newbury, Berkshire is a first of its kind in England due to the inclusion of glass. This is made possible by a new machine,
capable of compacting material. Sainsbury’s will trial Tomra’s T-70 Dual machine, which it claims has a 50% higher storage capacity than previous versions.

Money back for shoppers

The Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) means Sainsbury’s will offer a 5p coupon to customers for every container returned that meets the necessary requirements.

Truls Haug, Managing Director, Tomra, said “Showing how three materials can be easily collected in stores with Tomra reverse vending technology is an important learning for retailers and consumers as we move towards an all-inclusive deposit return scheme in the UK, starting with Scotland.

“We look forward to hearing feedback from shoppers and Sainsbury’s staff as the trial progresses.”

One of several trials

The Sainsbury’s trial is reflective of several currently in place in the UK market and follows a recent Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) paper that revealed the result of its consultation on a DRS for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It highlighted strong public support for an ‘all in’ scheme that includes a wide range of materials beyond bottles and drinks containers.

Schemes like this raise interesting questions about what happens to materials once they have been returned. Should DRS become the norm, businesses must design a reverse logistics solution that doesn’t negatively impact the existing operation. How these materials then find their way back to the manufacturing base will be a complex problem to solve.

Check out the Sainsbury’s hub for more on its supply chain developments.