Lidl launches first-of-its-kind recycling pilot

Lidl has become the first supermarket to roll out its own bottle return scheme trial. Launching today, shoppers in Glasgow can enjoy unlimited cash rewards in return for empty PET plastic and aluminium drinks containers via in-store reverse vending machines.

The move comes after the Scottish government delayed the introduction of its Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and will ensure that shoppers can still recycle their bottles and cans in store.

Rolling out across all 21 of its Glasgow stores, shoppers will receive a 5p reward for each eligible item that they return. This can either be redeemed against their shopping or donated to Lidl’s long-standing charity partner, The STV Children’s appeal, which it has been supporting since 2011.

It’s anticipated that the pilot will result in a minimum 10.5 tonnes of plastic and aluminium material being recycled each month, with the material which will be retained and used to create new plastic and aluminium product.

Incentivising shoppers to play a part in reducing plastic pollution, there is no cap on the number of items that can be returned, and the discounter will accept qualifying bottles and cans purchased from any retailer, as long as they are clean and uncrushed*.

The launch comes after Scottish Government delayed the introduction of its Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) from its original go-live date of 16 August 2023. Lidl’s own scheme will ensure that shoppers can continue to benefit from the infrastructure that had already been put in place by the discounter.

Unlike DRS, the discounter’s bottle return scheme does not place a deposit on the retail price of the original product.

Richard Bourns, Chief Commercial Officer at Lidl GB comments: “We’re on a mission to eliminate all unnecessary waste, and with over 95% of our own-brand packaging now recyclable, reusable, or refillable we’ve been making great progress. We know that Lidl shoppers share this passion, and we hope that utilising this infrastructure, which might otherwise have been left dormant, will help to make recycling their cans and bottles even more convenient for them. With our extra incentive thrown in, and no cap on the number of items that can be recycled, it’s a win-win for all.”

The Lidl Return Scheme is running for a trial period in participating Glasgow stores from 8th February 2024 until 11th August 2024. Find out more about the Lidl Return Scheme at

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