MUSSELBURGH’S Iceland store has become the first supermarket in Scotland to introduce a reverse vending machine in a bid to end plastic pollution.

These machines reward people for recycling by providing money or vouchers in return for empty containers.

Iceland’s reverse vending machine will accept Iceland’s empty plastic beverage bottles and repay customers with a 10p voucher for each recycled bottle to be used in store.

The Musselburgh installation follows Iceland’s industry-first trial in London last month.

The six-month trials are designed to help the company better understand consumer perceptions and appetite for plastics-recycling technology across the UK.

They come ahead of the expected launch of a national deposit return scheme to which the Scottish, UK and Welsh Governments have all announced their commitment in principle.

The trials will help Iceland to provide government and industry with insights that might support the creation of a national scheme.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP said: “This reverse vending machine will provide valuable evidence on how to help reduce single-use plastic waste and encourage customers to change their own behaviour as we look to end Scotland’s throwaway culture.

“I would urge all manufactures and retailers to follow Iceland’s example and consider what action they can take to reduce the use of single-use plastics.

“In the coming months the Scottish Government will be consulting on a new deposit return scheme for drinks containers that will be one step to increase recycling rates right across Scotland.

“As part of our action to reduce the blight of waste littering our communities and polluting our seas we are also consulting on proposals to ban the manufacture and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds and have appointed an expert panel to consider what further steps can be taken on items like plastic straws and disposable cups.”