06/07/2018 11:08 BST | Updated 06/07/2018 14:36 BST

Pret A Manger Launches New 20p Plastic Bottle Deposit Trial

Three stores in Birmingham will be testing the plan to help consumers recycle more.

Pret A Manger has started a trial deposit scheme for water bottles in Birmingham. The coffee chain earlier this year trialled a scheme in two Brighton shops in a bid to encourage consumers to recycle bottles – and is now testing the idea across three Birmingham sites.

Staff at Pret told HuffPost UK the scheme will run for two months across Birmingham stores, beginning from today. They said the 20p charge for bottles will be returned if the bottle was returned after use to any Pret store in Birmingham.

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It is the chain’s second trial of a bottle deposit scheme. In April, it ran a similar trial in Brighton with a 10p charge. However a spokesperson said almost 80% of consumers fed back that the charge was a good idea and many felt it wasn’t a high enough incentive – which is why they have now raised that fee to 20p.

“We want to do more to encourage more bottles to be recycled and see if it helps people to use reusable bottles,” a spokesperson said. She added that all money that wasn’t collected would be “ringfenced” into other sustainability initiatives.

Pret CEO Clive Schlee wrote in a blog in February about the Brighton trial: “It will take time to eliminate unnecessary plastic, but I hope this sort of initiative will bring that day forward by drawing attention to the issue and stimulating new ideas.”. 

“We’ve chosen Brighton because we have three busy shops there and we know the local people are highly attuned to the environment. If it is successful we could extend the scheme across the country during the autumn of 2018.”

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