Welsh town to trial new digital deposit return scheme for plastic bottles

Digital DRS schemes allow local authorities, brands and regulators to monitor recycling rates so they can analyse the habits of households

A new digital deposit return scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles is to be trialled by households in a Welsh town as the country moves towards a zero-waste, circular economy.

The four-week trial – the first of its kind in Wales – will involve a number of homes in Conwy County Borough Council and is due to start in the spring.

The initiative is a collaboration between the council, Polytag Ltd, the Welsh Government and WRAP.

Households will be provided with a set of bottles tagged by Polytag, which they will scan when placing in their recycling containers, using a free app.

They will receive a digital token, each worth 20p, for every bottle scanned at the end of the DRS process, with the tokens donated to raise funds for Ysgol Pen y Bryn, the local primary school.

Polytag previously trialled the technology in the village of Greasby on the Wirral, in partnership with Ecosurety, where 91% of the tagged packaging was successfully recycled.

Digital DRS schemes allow local authorities, brands and regulators to monitor recycling rates so they can analyse the habits of households.

Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs said: “Measures such as these will allow a more flexible system for consumers than having to return items such as bottles or containers themselves and will link in well with existing infrastructure already in place at the household recycling collection systems run by local authorities.

“By taking advantage of new technologies, we can move closer on our route to a circular economy – and I look forward to seeing the results of the trial once it has taken place.”

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