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Sainsbury's trials reverse vending machines which pay 5p per plastic bottle or can

Sainsbury's trials reverse vending machines which pay 5p per plastic bottle or can

Sainsbury's has launched a reverse vending recycling trial which allows customers to return plastic bottles and drinks cans in exchange for 5p coupons towards their shop – and you could make up to £25 per trip.

For now, the trial is only running in its Lincoln superstore, but the supermarket giant plans to extend it to four more stores including some smaller shops in the next few weeks, and to stores across the country in due course.

Plastic bottles of up to three litres can be deposited, as well as metal cans. The containers you deposit must be available to buy in Sainsbury's, so while you can recycle bottles from big brands like Coca-Cola, you won't be able to recycle own-brand ones from other supermarkets.

You'll get a 5p Sainsbury's voucher for each item, and can return a whopping 500 items per visit – meaning you could get up to £25 off your shopping.

See our blog 13 ways to use less plastic AND save cash for sustainable MoneySaving tips.

'Reverse vending machines' to become more common in future

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said last year that ministers would introduce a deposit return scheme for single-use drinks containers, such as plastic and glass bottles and aluminium cans – so initiatives like the one Sainsbury's is trialling could become more common in future.

Last summer for example, Co-op launched a deposit and return bottle scheme at UK festivals. Iceland is also trialling reverse vending machines, as can be seen below:

And just last month the Scottish Government announced plans to charge 20p deposits on bottles and cans – which will be refunded if they're returned.