Canary Wharf Launches First UK On-Site Deposit Return Scheme

Visitors to Canary Wharf can now recycle their single-use plastic bottles and cans using a deposit return scheme – the first publically accessible recycling machine in the UK.

This coincides with the Government’s announcement to crack down on plastic pollution.

Positioned in Canada Place, thousands of people who come to Canary Wharf will be able to recycle their single-use plastic bottles and cans in a simple, easy and efficient way.

Currently, only 43% of the 13bn plastic bottles sold each year in the UK are recycled, with 700,000 littered each day. In Germany, 99% of plastic bottles are recycled after a similar DRS was introduced there in 2003.

This automated machine uses an innovative 360-degree scanning recognition system to identify, segregate, collect and process waste drink containers, creating a resource from recyclates that would otherwise likely be incinerated or sent to landfill. The Deposit Return Scheme at Canary Wharf will also have the ability to reward users with vouchers and discounts planned to roll out in the next few months.

Lugano Kapembwa, sustainability manager, Canary Wharf Group says, “We are proud to be the first in the UK to launch the Deposit Return Scheme to give our shoppers the opportunity to recycle their single-use plastic and metal. From our research we know that visitors to the Estate want to do more for the environment.

“This initiative follows on from the hugely successful ‘Wake Up And Smell The Coffee’ campaign launched last year to recycle coffee cups, lids and coffee grounds at Canary Wharf with 664,285 of coffee cups recycled instead of going to landfill.”

This new initiative is in direct response to feedback from Canary Wharf’s customer research undertaken last year as part of World Environment Day.

The installation of the unit is just one element of Canary Wharf’s 12 month “one-use plastics” reduction and behavioural change campaign. Over the next few months, Canary Wharf will be examining next generation sustainability issues, with a focus on tackling the complex issue of plastics pollution as they lead the UK fight against one-use plastics (#refuseoneuse).

Other upcoming activity in the campaign includes a pioneering total plastic straw ban, Estate-wide one-use plastics audit and a World Environment Day plastics debate.

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