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Scottish and Scandinavian Can-Do Attitude

Posted: 24th August 2020

Scandinavian know-how allied to Scotland’s new can-do attitude to tackling the issue of drinks containers is set to help take a big step forward in our quest to become a Circular Economy.

RVM Systems, a world-leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of reverse vending machines, is one of the firms leading the charge to tackle the scourge of our throwaway approach to cans and bottles. RVM Systems are the leading manufacturer from Sweden and one of a number of companies supplying technology for Deposit Return Schemes Globally.

Working with retail partners and others including Circular Edinburgh, the company is working with a number of retail partners to pilot a deposit return scheme planned to roll out nationally across Scotland in July 2022. Zero Waste Scotland have designed the Deposit Return Scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government.

And, based on their experience, they expect to see more and more environmentally conscious Scots return their ‘empties’ for cash. The way we traditionally design, build, use then dispose of products means that a lot goes to waste. A circular economy looks to keep the flow of materials and products within the economy for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value from them whilst in use.

The Circular Edinburgh project is supported as part of Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which will invest £73m in circular economy and resource efficiency projects, thanks to support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This programme provides funding and support for small and medium sized businesses in Scotland to be more resource efficient and create a more circular economy.

RVM Systems supplies deposit return s

RVM Systems head office is in Sweden, R&D in Norway, production in Estonia, and now owns companies in Finland, France, Estonia, Romania and the UK (based near Edinburgh in Broxburn).

Jennifer Johnston-Watt, RVM Systems Group Brand Ambassador said: “We installed the first Reverse Vending Machines in Scotland and more widely in the UK with Tesco stores, Iceland Foods, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons Stores all of whom are piloting Deposit Return Scheme machines to assess the impact on store staff and time spent managing the systems.

“So far these pilots have been a huge success with one store n Scotland accepting over 2 million used drink containers and one machine accepting over 1 million drink cans and drink bottles.

“We have also supplied RVMs to several universities in Scotland and numerous businesses and Hospitals in the UK. From our large offices/warehousing and showroom in Broxburn and our Nationwide Installation and Maintenance Cover we have already built the infrastructure for a Country wide Deposit Return Scheme and also full coverage of England. Wales, and Northern Ireland.”

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme starts in July 2022. These schemes help fight littering, increase recycling and improve the quality of material collected for recycling as the materials are separated, compacted and non-contaminated, and this saves natural resources and energy, reduces pollution and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It is also known to help encourage wider behaviour change, encouraging people to think more carefully around their actions.

Jennifer added: “Scandinavia is renowned as being at the forefront of responsible business. We want to help create a circular economy and improve resource efficiency through actions such as discouraging the use of single-use materials

“Deposit return schemes enable the producers to take responsibility for the drink cans and bottles that they place on the market, and we call this Extended Producer Responsibility.”

It was confirmed last month by Rebecca Pow that a UK wide Deposit Return Scheme will start shortly after the Scottish Deposit Return Scheme.

Jennifer added: “Scotland is again leading the UK in terms of moving towards a more sustainable future, and we are pleased to bring our expertise to help achieve greater Circular Economy thinking. This will create business opportunities and also help to  provide a more sustainable environment.”

For further information please visit or contact Mayan Grace or Lauren Ridgley on 0131 221 2999 (option 5) or email

Zero Waste Scotland supported the Scottish Government on the design of the Deposit Return Scheme.

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme starts in July 2022 with the rest of the UK expected to follow suit.

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