A Bellshill convenience store has launched a reserve vending machine trial offering customers 10p for empty water, soft drink and juice containers.
For the next three months, customers at Nisa Local and Post Office in North Road can either receive cash when they recycle or donate the proceeds to St Andrew’s Hospice.
The trial comes ahead of the Scottish Government’s introduction of a deposit return scheme, which will reward the public with cash deposits for returning empty beverage containers for recycling.
At present all plastic bottles and cans must have a bar code to be accepted by machine, but this may change in future as Scotland seeks to achieve similar recycling rates to countries like Sweden, Norway, and Germany.
Store owner Abdul Majid was joined by Bellshill politicians Richard Lyle MSP, Hugh Gaffney MP, and Councillor Harry Curran to launch the in-store trial.
Mr Majid said: “Independent stores have a lot to consider when it comes to the introduction of the deposit return scheme, so we are proud to be participating in this trial.
“We are also delighted to be giving our customers the opportunity to do their bit for the environment and at the same time support St Andrews Hospice, which plays a vital role in our community.”
The Bellshill machine is provided by Envipco, which has teamed up with the Scottish Grocers Federation, and is one of only three to be installed in Scotland, with the other two located in Edinburgh.
Mr Lyle, who was a grocer for 14 years, said: “The deposit return scheme was at first a major concern for independent stores - and as a former grocery manager I shared their concern - but after discussions with Scottish Grocers Federation I now see an opportunity for local shops to take part in the scheme.”
Mr Gaffney said: “This will be a fantastic opportunity for local people to recycle whilst at the same time supporting St Andrews Hospice, and I would encourage as many as possible to stop by Nisa and try for themselves.”
Councillor Curran said: “I have fond memories of collecting and depositing empty bottles for cash when I was younger, and I’m sure the youth of Bellshill will enjoy the experience over the next few months, and more permanently when the deposit return scheme is launched.”