Pret a Manger launches the UK’s first deposit return scheme
Pret a Manger has this week launched the UK’s first plastic bottle deposit return scheme.
Three shops in Brighton will recycle any plastic bottles and return a 10p deposit on any Pret-branded bottles.
The trial is intended to last two months and initial feedback has been positive; a reported 15 percent of Pret bottles were returned on the first day. If the trial is successful then the food chain plans to introduce the scheme across more of its locations this year.
At the same time, the food chain has partnered with bottle makers Chilly’s to create a range of reusable 500ml plastic bottles. These will come in three unique designs and are “BPA-free”, according to the company.
The news is the latest step in Pret’s move to reduce the number of plastic bottles it uses. The store has been offering free filtered water stations since last October, which are available to passers-by and customers alike at 66 shops across the UK.
There are currently over 450 Pret shops worldwide, of which there are 237 in London alone.
Pret CEO, Clive Schlee, commented: “Plastic bottles are a problem. We all feel it even before we hear the shocking statistics about millions of tonnes of plastic ending up in our oceans each year. I’m thrilled that we’ve partnered with Chilly’s to create a range of reusable bottles and I hope our customers love the designs as much as we do.”
James and Tim, founders of Chilly’s, said, “We’re on a mission to accelerate the adoption and everyday use of reusable products. We aim to do this through creating high performing bottles that can be used everywhere, helping customers to reduce their reliance on single- use plastics.”
The UK Government recently proposed a similar scheme to help reduce plastic waste in the country. The government has a plan to eradicate all plastic waste within the next 25 years; a problem which sees three billion plastic drinks bottles go unrecycled each year.
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