SuperValu and Centra have installed reverse vending machines (RVMs) in 540 stores across the Republic of Ireland, ahead of the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) launching on 1 February, it was announced today.
A total of 667 RVMs have been installed across 219 SuperValu stores and 321 Centra stores, as part of a €28 million investment.
The investment comes after trials in store from early 2023.
One key result from the trials is that stores with higher footfall will see two machines present, to increase efficiency and convenience in busier locations.
The retailers have also noted that while not all stores have the RVMs installed, all communities will have access to one nearby.
Speaking on the announcement, the managing director for SuperValu and Centra, Ian Allen, said, “We and our retailers understand the important role we play in supporting communities and ensuring that we make the implementation of the DRS scheme as easy and convenient as possible for our customers.”
Allen mentioned that this was the latest in the retailer’s sustainability initiatives, which include the implementation of fridge doors for energy conservation and efforts to reduce packaging.
“By investing €28 million in the installation of over 600 reverse vending machines in every county in Ireland, we hope to make returns as convenient as possible for everyone,” he said.
SuperValu and Centra estimate that 90% of recyclable PET bottles and aluminium cans sold in store will be returned.
The Deposit Return Scheme
The DRS is a government initiative that will see a refundable deposit of 15c or 25c added to drinks sold in PET plastic bottles or steel and aluminium cans with a capacity of 150ml-3L.
Eligible containers will have the Re-Turn logo on them.
Customers are encouraged to return clean and empty containers to a participating retailer.
They can return the container either through an RVM or at the checkout, for a voucher that can be redeemed as a cash refund or used to offset the price of their next shop.
As part of the scheme, containers do not necessarily have to be returned to the purchasing store, but retailers across the sector are making an effort to implement convenient ways for customers to participate in the scheme.