Ocado, a British online supermarket, and Polytag, a technology company, are reportedly testing an on-pack Digital Deposit Return Scheme (DDRS) that is a first of its kind.
With the goal of showing the viability of a digital deposit return scheme, the merchant will equip 1.6 million recyclable milk bottles with QR codes that are different every time the bottles are sold.
During the test period, two- and four-ounce milk bottles will have Polytag’s unique identifiers affixed to them, along with labels that provide instructions and a call to action.
Although milk bottles are outside of DRS’s purview, they were chosen for the test since they are a staple in most consumers’ weekly grocery hauls.
When customers scan the QR code, they are taken to a landing page created by Ocado Retail where they can learn about upcoming promotions and gain access to more useful information and loyalty perks. Each week, a new set of sustainability-related messages, such as tips for reducing food waste and optimizing the use of home refrigerators, will be featured on the homepage.
Ocado Retail’s senior packaging and sustainability manager, Laura Fernandez, made the following statement about the company’s commitment to sustainability and the use of cutting-edge technology: “As the world’s largest online supermarket, we champion the use of innovative technology in our quest to become the UK’s most sustainable grocery retailer. For both businesses and customers, the digital platform provided by Polytag has several environmental and financial advantages. It’s simple to implement and might have far-reaching benefits for the country’s deposit return program if widely adopted. We’re curious to see how people react to the test run and how many of them would actually redeem their deposit at home.
Chief executive officer of Polytag Alice Rackley remarked, “This world-first trial has game-changing consequences for recycling in this country.” If the pilot is successful, the country will be one step closer to implementing a DDRS, which will give a much more convenient and ecologically responsible alternative for households to recover their deposits and has the backing of the largest online-only grocer in the world, Ocado Retail. On top of that, companies will have access to revolutionary new promotional resources and a lot of information about how consumers are recycling their packaging.