Deposit Return Schemes Explained

    A Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) enables the efficient and structured recycling of beverage containers. The containers can be made of glass, aluminium (cans) or plastic (PET bottles). A deposit return scheme involves many companies and organizations in making it possible. Envipco as a reverse vending machine (RVM) manufacturer plays an important part in them as well.  



    In a deposit return scheme, the consumer pays a small extra fee, called the ‘deposit’ to the retailer when buying a beverage. That deposit is then returned to the consumer when they return the bottle to a collection point. This can be a supermarket where a Reverse Vending Machine is available. The RVM can either give the consumer a voucher to collect the money back at the check out, or it might include an option to donate the deposit sum to charity. It’s the consumer’s choice. Behind the scenes, there is a complex system connecting the retailer, the beverage manufacturer, local governments and at the center of it all, the deposit management organization. All these groups take care that the materials are flowing in a streamlined manner, recycled correctly, and reused as raw materials!  




    Deposit return schemes incentivize recycling and reduce littering. Adding monetary value to what was previously thought of as waste makes it less attractive to throw out. They also support the circular economy by enabling the material used in the containers to enter the cycle once again. From an environmental point of view, a deposit return scheme is a convenient solution to collect and recycle valuable raw materials, reducing the need for virgin materials. For example, aluminium as a material can be recycled almost an infinite number of times. When processed correctly, the material keeps its characteristics, and the quality is comparable to freshly created virgin aluminium. This reduces the environmental impact of the material. Glass is similar to aluminium in properties, and it can be recycled infinitely. Plastic can be recycled from one to ten during its lifecycle, depending on the plastic material and recycling method.  


    For consumers, a well-arranged deposit return systems with easy access to recycling points creates a great opportunity to take care of their environment with an incentive. An accessible, easy-to-use collecting point with RVM’s for any material of containers means that recycling can be done at the same time when doing weekly groceries. The accessibility of a collecting point is the most important factor when planning to implement a DRS.  


    From a business point of view on the other hand, there are many benefits to having RVM’s in your business space. Promoting recycling boosts the company image in terms of taking care of the environment. In a well-arranged collecting point, whether it’s located inside or outside of your retail point, your customers can collect benefits that can be used by shopping with your business. There are also many loyalty program options, that can be customized to the needs of your specific business.  


    Envipco offers a broad portfolio of products, that fit even the smallest store formats. Our smallest RVM, the Flex, has a footprint of 0,53 m2. For hypermarkets or shopping centers, we can offer an outdoor solution that can be conveniently placed on the parking lot. This makes sure that recycling does not have to be done every week. Instead, customers can arrive with a bulk of used beverage containers, that will be processed quickly and efficiently.   


    To see how we could help you on your journey towards a robust DRS, take a look at our product portfolio. We are here to help you choose the best solutions, for you. With 40 years of experience from the industry, we will happily consult you with any questions.