Winner: Ocado and Polytag

Ocado and Polytag set out to prove the case for a digital deposit return scheme last year.

It did so by putting QR codes on 2.5 million milk bottles.

The aim was to build the case for a digital scheme that would allow households to recycle their bottles kerbside, rather than taking them to reverse vending machines.

As part of the trial, households could scan the QR codes via an app and put their bottles in their usual recycling collection – then claim back their deposits using the same app.

The tech could offer a alternative to installing reverse vending machines, which have proven a source of controversy.

“This could be a game-changer,” said one judge.

And not just for its recycling impact. By showing QR codes can be printed at scale, it opens up possibilities to use them to confer information on sourcing, allergens and health, too.


  • Abel & Cole - Plastic Pick-Up
  • Dualit - EcoPress Pod Recycler
  • Müller UK & Ireland with Waitrose - Clear caps for fresh milk
  • Ocado Retail and Polytag - Pioneering a new approach to recycling
  • Pura - Nappy Recycling Trial

Golds sponsors final

M&S Food wins Grocer of the Year for the first time in its history