Skip to the content

Powys Council tests digital deposit return scheme for drinks containers

Digital recycling logo
Image source: Warguta

Powys Council and its partners have begun a trial of a scheme using digital scans in returning drinks containers in the Brecon area.

The Scan/Recycle/Reward trial was launched in mid-July to run for 12 weeks, with the promise of participants being able to claim cash rewards by scanning uniquely labelled containers with their mobile phones before recycling at home, through their kerbside collection or using ‘on the go’ return points around the town.

Details are recorded in their accounts for the scheme and they will obtain a reward of 10 pence per recycled container with the option to donate the money to local charities.

Labelled containers will be available to buy from shops in the area, with a list of participating retailers and locations of recycling points available online.

In addition, residents taking part will receive a welcome pack including an introductory letter, information leaflet and set of stickers to apply to drinks containers.

Scheme partners

The trial is being led by the Digital Deposit Return Scheme (DDRS) Alliance – a non-profit group of industry and technology organisations – in partnership with Powys Council, the Welsh Government, circular economy organisation WRPA Cymru and local retailers.

Wales’ Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: "In committing to introducing a deposit return scheme for drink containers, our aim is not only to drive Wales's recycling rate higher as a key action to tackle the climate and nature emergency, but also to significantly improve on-the-go recycling and tackle the littering of bottles and cans in our communities.

“This trial is important in understanding and testing how best to operate a digital scheme in an existing community and will gather information on the consumer response and how innovative technology can be used in operating a DRS."

Cllr Jackie Charlton, the council’s cabinet member for a Greener Powys, said: "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.”

Register For Alerts

Keep informed - Get the latest news about the use of technology, digital & data for the public good in your inbox from UKAuthority.