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Conwy Council to trial digital deposit return scheme

08/12/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

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Conwy County Borough Council is to run a trial on using digital tags and a mobile app to encourage people to recycle bottles.

App on smartphone

It is planning to begin the deposit return scheme (DRS) – in which it is partnering with technology supplier Polytag, resource efficiency experts WRAP and the Welsh Government – in the town of Colwyn Heights over four weeks during the spring.

Householders will be provided with a set of bottles tagged by Polytag, which they will scan using the app when placing them in their recycling containers. The bottles will also be scanned upon collection by Conwy’s household waste recycling team.

For each bottle scanned at either of the process, householders will receive a digital token worth 20 pence, which can then be donated to raise funds for the local primary school.

The Welsh Government said the technology has already been trialled in the village of Greasby on the Wirral, in partnership with recycling specialist Ecosurety, where 91% of tagged packaging was successfully recycled.

More flexibility

Lesley Griffiths, Wales’ 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.”

Councillor Greg Robbins, Conwys’ cabinet member for environment and transportation, said: “We’re delighted to be taking part in this pilot recycling scheme. It’s an exciting opportunity to use technology to track and make the most of recyclable materials while raising money for the local school.”

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