SUPERMARKET giant Aldi wants to create vending machines to recycle items outside two of its East Lothian stores.

The ‘reverse vending machine’ would be in the car parks at the retailer’s North Berwick and Tranent stores.

Plans for the machines are with East Lothian Council’s planning department.

A statement included within the planning applications explained the purpose of the devices.

It reads: “A reverse vending machine (RVM), in its simplest form, is a device that accepts empty beverage containers and returns a reward (either money or some other payment method) to the user.

“The user inserts the empty beverage container into the RVM, where it is scanned, identified and determined to be an eligible container.”

The statement continues: “When consumers go into a shop or hospitality business to buy a drink, they will pay a small deposit (20p) on top of the retail price.

“Consumers get their deposit back when they return their empty plastic bottle, glass bottle or steel/aluminium can.

“There are two ways to return their empty containers. These can be returned manually over the counter or by using an automated reverse vending machine that scans the container barcode when they are deposited.”

If approved, the machines would result in the loss of five parking spaces outside the Tranent store, on Haddington Road, and four spaces at the store on North Berwick’s Dunbar Road.

Plans for the North Berwick store were discussed at a local community council meeting on August 4.

The community council welcomed the recycling containers but said it would be best if it was open at the same time as the store and restricted to those hours rather than open 24 hours.

Member Peter Hamilton raised concerns neighbours had over potential noise, especially if people were putting bottles into the machine late at night.

Further planning applications are expected for the supermarket chain’s other two county stores in Haddington and Musselburgh.

A spokesperson for Aldi said: “Aldi is working to prepare for the introduction of the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in Scotland in line with the Government’s introduction date.

“This includes reviewing the physical layout of stores to ensure they meet the requirements of the regulations covering DRS, including the installation of RVM in appropriate areas.”