Could you live for free on plastic bottles...? by pennsif

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· @pennsif · (edited)
$7.03
Could you live for free on plastic bottles...?
<div class="pull-right"><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-3868" src="https://pennsif.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/swansea-marina-tesco-plastic-bottle-return-20200120-01-300x400-1.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="400" /></div>

#### When I was young in the 60s me and my friends would regularly scout around our neighbourhood collecting drinks bottles that had a deposit on them. Lemonade, Corona fizzy drinks and beer bottles were the most common ones if I recall.

#### I can't remember what the deposit was on each bottle, maybe a halfpenny or a penny, but if we were lucky we would earn enough for a good stash of sweets to take back to our camp in the cow field.

#### Today we visited the Swansea Marina Tesco while our daughter was at a Chinese event nearby.<br><br>

We generally shop at Aldi these days but we wanted to go to that particular Tesco superstore as we had spotted that it was one of five taking part in a trial plastic bottle 'reverse vending' recycling scheme.

<img src="https://pennsif.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/swansea-marina-tesco-plastic-bottle-return-20200120-02-900x506-1.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="506" /><br/>

The scheme, launched in September 2018, gives customers a 10p Tesco voucher for every plastic bottle they return.

As well as Swansea the other stores in the trial are in Borehamwood, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham...
<ul>
 <li><a href="https://www.tescoplc.com/news/2018/tesco-trials-money-back-on-returned-plastic-bottles-and-calls-for-a-national-approach-to-recycling/">Tesco trials money back on returned plastic bottles, and calls for a national approach to recycling</a></li>
</ul>
The scheme accepts bottles up to 750ml in size from Tesco or major brands such as Coca-Cola.

<img class="alignright size-full wp-image-3870" src="https://pennsif.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/swansea-marina-tesco-plastic-bottle-return-20200120-03-900x506-1.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="506" /><br/>

We took 11 bottles, and nine were accepted by the machine giving us a voucher for 90p to spend on anything in Tesco.

The scheme is supposedly limited to 10 bottles per customer per day, but the family in front of us put in 61 bottles and got £6.10. I think they 'beat the system' just be doing it in seven batches with a separate voucher for each.

<img class="alignright size-full wp-image-3867" src="https://pennsif.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/swansea-marina-tesco-plastic-bottle-return-20200120-04-900x506-1.jpg" alt="" width="900" height="506" /><br/>

When we first saw the machine in December there were a couple of women filling it up with bottles collected from their work colleagues. They got £23 towards drinks for their office Christmas party.

A Tesco press release of April 2019 mentioned that the highest amount of bottles returned in one day was 1,052 in Edinburgh’s Hermiston Gait Superstore...
<ul>
 <li><a href="https://www.tescoplc.com/news/2019/100-000-plastic-bottles-collected-through-our-in-store-recycling-trial/">100,000 plastic bottles collected through our in-store recycling trial</a></li>
</ul>
Plastic bottles are all over the place alas, and as the Christmas party women showed it would not be hard to collect considerable numbers.

That gave me the idea for any enterprising soul living near one of these Tesco participating in this trial.

If you could collect just 50 bottles a day you could get £5 in vouchers to spend.

I am pretty sure a single person could eat and drink moderately well on £5 (US$6.50) a day at Tesco.

It probably wouldn't be too difficult to get even more than 50 and dine in style.

I wonder how quickly Tesco would catch on to this. Maybe a couple of friends working together and shopping at different times of the day and night could fly under the radar.

<strong>Anyone in Swansea, Borehamwood, Edinburgh, Manchester or Birmingham up for a challenge?

Live for free and save the planet at the same time...</strong>

<hr />
<hr />

<em>[ images from @pennsif ]</em>
👍  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and 273 others
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@riverflows ·
oh my god that's freaking awesome!! You guys are going to have NO bottle litter in your vicinity! My only concern is that it still allows for a plastic bottle demand ie. 'don't worry, I can recycle them and cash them in' - rather than NO bottles at all. YOu'd still remember the days when we didn't carrry water with us at all. Still holding onto my stainless steel water bottle - I wonder if I can carry it all through India without losing it. Mind you, I think I'm going to have to get plastic bottles of water as not sure our water filter (travael one) will cut it...
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@pennsif ·
Yes, usage of plastic bottles will continue.  Our middle daughter collects them at the university student residence she is at. There seems  to be an infinite supply there alas!

When are you off to India?  Sounds exciting.  Are you going to meet @eco-alex there?
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@riverflows ·
No, he is in Portugal I think.  Feb 29 to  April 4th, arrive UK April 5th. 

Universities should just stop selling the bloody things. What's wrong with filtered water fountains??? You'd think smart young things would protest. 
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@intrepidsurfer · (edited)
Where there is an economic incentive to participate, people will go out of their way to do so. Look what happened when shops starting charging for plastics bags.. people brought their own.
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@pennsif ·
Yes economic incentives are very powerful.  I am not this model is going to be sustainable and scalable for Tesco though.
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@erikah ·
Kind of envy you for that option. I'm all for the 5R but there's not much you can do in my country. I've been using these machines in Germany many years ago and loved it. There was no limit there and I believe it shouldn't be. The idea is to collect the bottles, it doesn't matter who is feeding the machine and with how many bottles. It's a great initiative. 
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@pennsif ·
I am hoping Tesco and other supermarkets will expand the scheme.  And maybe there should be a small 'tax' added to the cost of the bottles to fund the expansion to make it more sustainable.
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@erikah ·
In time they have to. Something needs to be done. 
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@steevc ·
I have seen one of these machines recently, but can't remember where it was. When I lived in Germany they were really good on recycling. The supermarket had an area where people could buy crates of drinks and bring back their empties to get something back. I try to minimise the bottles and cans I use. I very rarely buy bottled water.
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@pennsif ·
It would be great if a proper deposit scheme was introduced again. And even maybe a small tax on single use plastic bottles as well....
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@steevc ·
There should be some sort of tax. Same with drink cans as they are very energy intensive and very recycleable.
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@littlenewthings ·
I think there was a time in KL this happened but then I am not certain why it disappeared.

I try to occasionally connect as much water bottles as possible and send it over to IKEA which is the only place left that accepts waste and pays, unfortunately they count by KG.

10¢ per kilo. Which can be a waste of time for many people's point of view.

Posted using [Partiko Android](https://partiko.app/referral/littlenewthings)
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@pennsif ·
10c per kg is not very attractive - not sure how many bottles that would be, but quite a few I would think.
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@littlenewthings ·
Yes it is not attractive at all. 1 kg is actually a lot for plastics if they are water bottles, and the bulkiness does not attract the collectors kindly. 

(imagine your mid capacity garbage bag, filled with full of crumbled water bottles: that's about 1kg)
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@steemitboard ·
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@minismallholding ·
South Australia, and I think Northern Territories, has a 10c return scheme for any drinks containers that are commonly used on the go. So all drinks cans and any smaller serve bottle and carton drinks. Just not the family size ones that are usual only consumed at home. The exception is the large pop bottles, which still have the return deposit. You can take them in any quantity to collection points and get cash for them. It works really well, because while they still get dumped by some, they don't stay there for long. Someone will pick them up for the 10c. People will even go through bins for them. It's one of the cleanest states because of it.

It's definitely worth  putting that incentive there. 
👍  
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vote details (1)
@pennsif ·
That's sounds excellent.  I wish more countries could follow your model.
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