Reverse Vending is the solution to responsible disposal of plastic bottles and cans

How does it work?

Reverse Vending enables the implementation of Deposit Return Schemes

A Deposit Return Scheme and the provision of Reverse Vending Machines is a proven solution to reducing plastic bottle and metal can litter and making recycling easier and more efficient whilst helping to reduce landfill waste.

What is a Reverse Vending Machine?

Reverse Vending Machines utilise advanced 360 degree scanning technology to identify, sort, collect and process used plastic bottles and cans ready for recycling or responsible disposal.

When a plastic bottle is returned to the machine, the machine will read the barcode on the bottle to check its weight, length and measurements.  The machine will then scan the barcode, pierce the bottle and compact it to 90% of its original volume. The compacted items can then be recycled into new containers or other packaging.

When the machine is full, the machine sends email alerts allowing for the resources to be collected and stored on site until a large enough quantity is collected. Each machine can hold approximately 500-600 bottles.

You can see the latest state-of-the-art Reverse Vending Machine at our showroom in East Kilbride where we will be happy to demonstrate how it works and outline the significant environmental benefits.

Below is a short video which shows some of the main features of the Reverse Vending Machine.

Reverse Vending ® is a Registered Trade Mark of Reverse Vending

Who Is Envirovend

We are a business which believes the vending industry can be part of the solution to increasing the recycling rate of ‘on the go’ purchases.  We are run by the same management team as Excel Vending, an award winning vending business with an enviable 25 year track record in the industry. Excel Vending is committed to minimising its impact on the environment and were the first vending company in Scotland to achieve ISO14001 Environmental standard.

Having visited Scandinavian countries where Deposit Return and Reverse Vending Machines are commonplace we believe that it provides an effective solution to recycling container waste.  We are a member of the ‘Have You Got the Bottle’ campaign to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme in Scotland.

What is a Deposit Return Scheme?

A Deposit Return Scheme is designed to encourage and incentivise consumers to deposit waste bottles and cans. Similar schemes in other European countries have seen return rates of over 90% of plastic bottles and cans. The Deposit Return Scheme would mean that if you returned a plastic bottle or can to a Reverse Vending Machine, you would be issued a voucher for say 10p or 20p, which could be used against future purchases.

Alternatively instead of taking the voucher you could choose to donate it to a chosen charity, so you could help the environment and some local charities at the same time.

In early September 2017, the Scottish Government announced its intention to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme for single use containers. Zero Waste Scotland are currently working on the Deposit Return Scheme model for Scotland. We await information on the proposed implementation.

In March 2018, the UK government also announced that a Deposit Return Scheme will be introduced in England for single use glass and plastic bottles, and steel and aluminium cans, following consultation.

What are the benefits?

Reduces the amount of used plastic bottles and cans going to landfill.

Assists organisations to comply with their recycling targets obligations.

Cuts down plastic bottle and metal can litter on the streets and in public areas.

Reverse Vending adoption is in line with the Scottish and UK Government plans to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme.

Increases national recycling rates when used in conjunction with traditional recycling methods.

Installing just one Reverse Vending Machine creates the equivalent C02 saving of taking 2000 cars off the road.

The machines are easy to manage, easy to clean and easy to use.

What are our current recycling rates like?

Scotland’s current household recycling rate is only 42% as recorded in 2013 which is a long way behind our European counterparts (for example, Germany at an astonishing 98.5%). The Scottish Government want to reach overall recycling rates of 70% by 2025 and using Reverse Vending Machines could play a huge part in the success of this.

Environmental campaigner Professor David Bellamy has spoken out in favour of Reverse Vending, stating the idea aligns with his beliefs about how we can work together to save the planet.  The Reverse Vending concept has also been approved by environmental organisations Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

Has Reverse Vending been used in the UK?

IKEA Edinburgh and Glasgow saw a three-year Reverse Vending pilot scheme introduced as part of the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Scotland programme. The pilot looked at ways in which schemes which offer incentives such as vouchers, donations to charities or money back may increase recycling rates and reduce the amount of used drinks containers going to landfill.

Reverse Vending Machines have also been introduced into a handful of sites in England. Owners have cited other benefits such as reducing staff time spent emptying waste bins on site. Other sectors to have introduced RVMs include education, government and corporate business headquarters.

Impact on Circular Economy

We believe that the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme provides huge opportunities for the development of the circular economy in Scotland.

Currently around 40% of plastic bottles are recycled and even less of these are returned back to manufacturers to reengineer back into new containers:

We hope that the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme will allow increased amount of recycled material to be returned to manufacturers and reused in the provision of new containers.

Our vision would see the vending industry become part of the solution and put the UK at the forefront of innovative recycling.

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Contact Us & Get Involved

Envirovend can supply and maintain your Reverse Vending Machine. If you’d like to come and see our state-of-the-art machine in operation and find out more about reverse vending call us on 0845 60 40 111 or email for more information.