1. ITV Report

Latitude to fight back on plastic waste with bottle deposit machines

Latitude is one of the festivals where the bottle return scheme will be trialled. Credit: PA

Suffolk's Latitude Festival will be one of the first music venues this summer to trial a new scheme aiming to boost plastic recycling and reduce marine pollution.

The Co-Op is running a so-called "deposit return scheme" where festival goers are encouraged to return their plastic water bottles to vending machines in exchange for a voucher to spend at one of their stores on site.

The bottles will then go on to be recycled.

he drinks bottle reverse vending machines will give people vouchers to spend at pop-up Co-op stores on site. Credit: Co-op

The company said it was the first retailer to launch a deposit return scheme, just months after the Government said it was planning to bring in the policy as part of efforts to fight the rising tide of plastic in the oceans.

Reducing the amount of plastic that makes its way to landfill is really important to us and our members.

I’m excited that, in partnership with Live Nation and Recycling Options, we have the opportunity to bring these machines to the UK only a few months after they were officially given the green light by the Government.

– Jo Whitfield, Retail CEO, Co-op
Bottles collected in the Co-op's trial deposit return scheme will be recycled for its own brand bottled water. Credit: PA

The pilot will also see reverse vending machines installed at Download festival in Leicestershire and Reading and Leeds festivals to encourage people to recycle their plastic bottles.

The latest moves to tackle plastic come after more than 60 of the UK’s biggest music festivals pledged to ban the use of plastic straws at their events this summer.

Melvin Benn, Managing Director of Festival Republic, said: “We welcome over 350,000 revellers across these four iconic festival sites.

"It’s absolutely fantastic to think that they will be amongst the first people in the UK to have the opportunity to recycle their plastic bottles simply and easily using the reverse vending machines, in addition to the existing deposit return schemes at the festivals.”