Reverse vending machine set to boost recycling at hip City hot spot

A ‘reverse vending machine’ in the Square Mile’s trendy restaurant, retail and office quarter at Broadgate will give City workers, residents and visitors rewards for recycling plastic bottles and aluminium cans.

The machine, which will be installed by the City of London Corporation on 20 November to mark the launch of European Week for Waste Reduction, offers vouchers giving money off purchases at Square Mile retailers.

The City Corporation hopes to help improve recycling and boost local retail footfall in the area.

Rewards available so far include a 10p discount off a hot drink at Beany Green’s restaurant at Broadgate or 10% discount at ‘naturally fast food’ LEON restaurants in the Square Mile.

UK consumers buy 35 million plastic bottles and 20 million aluminium cans every day.

More than two million pieces of litter are dropped daily, with significant amounts ending up in UK beaches and waterways.

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environmental Services Committee, Keith Bottomley, said:

“We are keen to help increase recycling and boost businesses through this new initiative.

“With rewards to be earned for helping the environment, we want to put some fun into recycling in this area of high footfall, with its busy transport hubs, offices, restaurants, bars and pubs.”

How does it work?

  1. Empty plastic bottles and drinks cans are placed in the reverse vending machine
  2. The container is scanned and a barcode reader identifies the type of bottle or can
  3. A discount voucher or coupon is printed
  4. The machine sorts, compacts and stores empty plastic drinks bottles and aluminium drinks cans

The City Corporation itself has pledged to become free of unnecessary single-use plastics by the end of the year. Its Climate Action Strategy commits the organisation to achieve net zero carbon for its own operations by 2027 and across its investments and supply chain by 2040 - and to support the achievement of net zero for the Square Mile by 2040.


Notes to editors

Longstanding members and winners of the Clean City Awards Scheme, Broadgate, have numerous other successful recycling, reuse and waste reduction initiatives. These include; single stream coffee cup recycling bins across the neighbourhood; and retailors across the neighbourhood offering discounts for reusing a coffee cup, selling reusable cups, and participating with the Refill app to encourage free water refills.

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally successful UK – 

The City Corporation is the port health authority for London, the largest port health authority in the UK, responsible for services on the River Thames, from Teddington to the English Channel. It protects public health by preventing infectious disease, ensuring water quality, making vessel inspections and enforcing environmental controls.

It is also responsible for keeping the City clean. The Square Mile is the world’s leading international financial centre and its 450,000 workers and 9,400 residents rightly expect the street scene to be of a very high standard in which to live and work.

Kristina Drake| Media Officer, Public Services

City of London Corporation

M: 07710860884