co-op download festival DRS

Source: The Co-op

The concept, first trialled last summer, has already appeared at Download and Isle of Wight festivals this year

The Co-op has brought back a deposit return scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles at the UK’s biggest festivals.

The move builds on the concept, first trialled across four events last summer, which sees a mandatory 10p deposit applied to the price of plastic bottles sold at the society’s festival stores.

Customers choose to either receive a Co-op voucher when they recycle the bottle or donate the deposit to Keep Britain Tidy, the retailer’s chosen charity for the push.

The pop-up recycling rooms will be unveiled at Latitude, Creamfields, Reading and Leeds as well as the Scottish Tartan Heart festival and have already appeared at Download and Isle of Wight.

“We are delighted that the Co-op has chosen us as their charity partner for this exciting project,” said Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

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“We know that only half of the plastic bottles in this country are recycled and, if littered, they can cause significant damage to our environment, including our oceans, and so a deposit return scheme is a great way to encourage people to recycle them and reduce littering.”

Co-op commercial director Michael Fletcher added: “The activity will really help us to understand how consumers use and react to the machines, providing invaluable insight to inform the debate on how DRS schemes could work in the UK.

“Last year we saw thousands of bottles being posted into the machines at some of the UK’s most loved festivals and it’s great to know these have now been recycled into our own water bottles, selling in our stores this year.”

The machines are provided by reverse vending provider Tomra.

Truls Haug, MD Tomra collection solutions UK & Ireland, added: “This represents an exciting milestone and a great opportunity for music fans to experience for themselves the ease and simplicity of reverse vending and deposit return. We are delighted to be supporting these great events and to have the chance to boost their sustainability credentials, while hopefully promoting good recycling habits for the future.”