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The First Minister for Wales visited Brecon today to see how a trial digital deposit recycling scheme is working.

First published:
29 September 2023
Last updated:

Brecon is the first town in the world to test this particular type of digital deposit scheme.

During the trial, people claim 10p for every specially-marked bottle they recycle by scanning it with an app.

Around 1,200 households in Brecon have registered to take part in the scheme. Cans or bottles can be recycled through normal waste collections at home, over the counter in shops or through special recycling machines located around the town.

The trial, which runs until 1 November, is exploring how digital technology can be used in a deposit return scheme for drink containers.

Every year UK consumers use an estimated 14 billion plastic drinks bottles and 9 billion drinks cans, many of which are littered or sent to landfill. International examples show deposit return schemes can boost drinks container recycling, with rates of more than 90% in Germany, Finland and Norway.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“We’re committed to introducing a deposit return scheme in Wales and it’s important we explore the different ways a scheme could be delivered.

“Wales is the third best country in the world for recycling but we need to go further if we are to reach net zero and tackle littering. The learning from this trial will help us better understand recycling patterns, which is an important part of reaching that target.

“It’s been very interesting learning more about this scheme from people in Brecon – a great effort by the local community.”

Duncan Midwood, of Circularity Solutions Ltd, the project lead and head of the consortium leading the pilot, said:

“Wales is leading the way in supporting the development of Digital DRS which promises to transform the way packaging is collected for recycling across the World. The learnings gained from the trial in Brecon will help industry and legislators understand how Digital DRS could work within a UK DRS to increase levels of recycling further.”

Cllr Jackie Charlton, Powys County Council Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys said:

“It has been great to be involved with this project and working collaboratively with Welsh Government, many other organisations, industry representatives and the local business and community in Brecon. Powys already has an impressive recycling culture and it has been good to see how a deposit return scheme can be used in conjunction with an existing successful kerbside collection service.”