UK water bottler offers monetary rewards for recycling

Nestlé Waters subsidiary Buxton has joined a first-of-its-kind recycling trial in Brecon, Powys in South Wales. 

The Scan|Recycle|Reward digital deposit return scheme (DDRS) trial will encourage those living and working in the town to claim 10 pence (about 1.6 cents) rewards for recycling by scanning uniquely labelled drink containers, including single Buxton bottles of all sizes, with their mobile phones and then recycling the packaging through their normal collection or using various return points around the town. 

All Buxton water bottles are 100% recyclable, and last year the brand achieved its commitment to have the full range made with 100% recycled PET plastic (excluding caps and labels). In achieving this milestone, Nestlé Waters UK has significantly reduced the amount of virgin PET plastic used to make its bottles, helping to close the recycling loop. 

The DDRS trial is being led by the DDRS Alliance, in partnership with Welsh Government, WRAP Cymru, Powys County Council and local retailers. 

“We are excited to work on this large-scale digital Deposit Return Scheme trial. It is a great opportunity for us to understand how digital solutions may be incorporated into a deposit return scheme and how a digital recycling solution can engage with consumers regarding the bottle-to-bottle circular economy journey to help increase recycling rates further,” said Hayley Lloyd House, head of corporate affairs and sustainability at Nestlé Waters UK.  

“Effective and efficient deposit return schemes have demonstrated that they can help increase the availability of high-quality, food-grade recycled plastic for drinks containers. We hope this trial could inform the development of DRS across the UK.” 

For every container scanned and recycled correctly, participants will have the choice to ‘cash in’ their reward or donate it to the Brecon Food Bank and the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, our two nominated local charities.  

“This trial will help us understand people’s preferred return options for recycling these drinks containers and help us learn more about recycling behaviour. This will be the first time anywhere in the world that a whole town will use this new technology and the findings will be analysed and shared with the rest of the UK, putting Brecon at the forefront of recycling innovation,” said Jackie Charlton, cabinet member for a Greener Powys. 

The trial runs for 12 weeks, from July 13 to October 4, 2023.