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Closing The Loop With DRS

In 2021, Lidl was the first retailer in Ireland to introduce a reverse vending machine, piloting the upcoming deposit return system in Ireland into our store in Glenageary and expanding the trial to Claremorris. As of September 2022, Between the two stores, we have processed over half a million containers, made up of over 250,000 PET bottles and 320,000 aluminium cans. Incentivising customers to recycle their bottle(s) instead of littering or placing it in general waste bins in public or potentially at home. Customers receive 10 cents in store credit for every empty PET beverage bottle and beverage can they place into our machines.

As a next step in this project, Lidl is now the first retailer in Ireland to introduce the PET bottle material into the packaging for our products. This allows Lidl customers to buy back the material they inserted into our reverse vending machines and by that to be part of the Irish circular economy.

This project is a collaboration across the Irish packaging recycling as well as packaging and food manufacturing supply chain. We are proud to have collaborated with Shabra Plastics & Packaging, Waddington Europe, Versatile Packaging, and our direct supplier Silver Hill Foods.

The PET bottles have been cleaned, flaked, and manufactured back into food grade packaging, filled with our own brand product, and delivered back to store, all that by stakeholders based in Ireland.

We hope to make visible with this that truly recyclable packaging is not “waste” but an important and highly sought-after raw material that brands and retailers give value to by demanding recycled content in their products.

30% of the total tray weight is made from our collected bottles.

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