Lidl Deposit Return Scheme (1)

Source: Lidl

A Lidl DRS machine in Scotland

Lidl is set to bring its deposit return scheme to England, planning documents have revealed.

The discounter’s DRS trial, which is currently in six stores in Scotland, is on its way to two in Bristol: on West Town Lane, Brislington, and Southmead Road.

Planning applications for each of the sites propose an “extension to [an] existing food-store to create facilities for a deposit return scheme”.

Scotland is set to launch a national DRS scheme in August next year in a bid to drive up recycling rates, while other UK nations are set to do so by 2025, following delays to plans.

Lidl introduced its DRS trial in Scotland in March last year in preparation for the national scheme, which was initially set to launch in July 2021 before being pushed back a year.

Shoppers returning containers to Lidl’s machines were rewarded with vouchers worth 10p for each undamaged empty plastic or glass bottle or aluminium can originally bought from the discounter, up to a maximum value of £2.50.

However, Lidl has recently stopped providing the 10p reward, while leaving the machines in place for customers to use. “Our 10p reward formed part of our DRS trial which ended on the 31 August,” said a Lidl spokeswoman.

“We had a great response to the trial, and each customer that participated has played a big part in helping us to shape the future of DRS at Lidl.

“We’re pleased to confirm that the recycling points will remain in place, meaning that customers can continue recycling their goods ahead of the official DRS rollout next year.”

On Lidl’s plans to bring the trial to England, the spokeswoman added: “We are preparing for the future implementation of DRS across England but are still awaiting further clarity and guidance from government.”

Aldi, which launched its first DRS trial in Bathgate store in West Lothian, Scotland, in November last year, has also recently stopped providing a 10p reward. It said it was reviewing the insights and data collected from the trial, ahead of looking at next steps.

Under Scotland’s national scheme, shoppers will pay a 20p deposit when buying a bottle or can which they will get back upon return.

A number of other supermarkets, including Tesco and Sainsbury’s, already have DRS machines in some stores in England.

Iceland became the first to introduce one, in a store in Fulham, London, in 2018.