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Aldi looks to future recycling law with store proposal

By David Porter

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A supermarket chain is looking at the potential outcomes for retailers of new recycling laws in Scotland.

Following the Scottish Government announcement of a deposit scheme in July 2022 for drinks containers which means that retailers will have a legal requirement to accept returns of empty drinks containers for recycling, Aldi has looked at the outcomes of this at its Ellon store.

Aldi's response to this new scheme is to use a Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) that scans containers when they are returned an refunds the customer.

Due to the high footfall in Aldi stores there is expected to be high use of these machines, which their research showed they could be collecting up to 24,500 units on a weekly basis.

The RVMs are available in a range of sizes and Aldi have said they will seek to use the largest where possible to meet demand.

Due to the size of the unit and layout of Aldi stores it is not possible to locate it within the building leading to a roll-out of plans for store locations to deal with the issue.

The first store in the north-east where this has been brought forward is in Ellon where the unit will need to be accommodated in the car park, with the loss of a small number of spaces.

A planning application made to Aberdeenshire Council shows that 11 spaces would be needed, reducing the site from 109 to 98 to accommodate the RVM unit and only standard non-disabled or parent and child spaces will be removed when the unit is installed to the south of the main building.

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