Pilots | Ocado & Polytag

Polytag teamNov 1, 20227 min read

World First Digital Deposit Return Scheme (DDRS) Pilot

Introducing the world’s first unique-every-time QR code Digital Deposit Return Scheme pilot with Ocado.

On-pack Digital Deposit Return Scheme Technology

We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Ocado Retail. Together we are delivering a world-first trial in an effort to improve the recycling rate of single-use plastic packaging in the UK.

For the first time ever, on-pack Digital Deposit Return Scheme (DDRS) technology will be introduced to product packaging for one of the UK’s leading online grocery retailers.

For 12 weeks, 1.6m of the retailer’s fully recyclable milk bottles will feature unique-every-time QR codes which households can quickly scan with their smartphones to receive detailed recycling information. These unique-every-time QR codes prove that a digital deposit return scheme is viable.

During the trial, Polytag’s unique codes will be applied to fully recyclable two-pint and four-pint milk cartons, with labels featuring instructions and a clear call-to-action for shoppers. Each milk bottle is made up of at least 30% recycled material.

In addition, the trial will provide Ocado with a direct-to-consumers marketing channel, on a national scale, enabling it to tell its sustainability story to increasingly eco-conscious shoppers.

Upon scanning the QR code, consumers access landing pages – built by Ocado Retail – to share customised campaigns and links out to relevant content and reward schemes.

Find out more about how we have developed unique-every-time QR codes with our partners at Xact and Interket

Commenting on the trial, Alice Rackley, CEO, Polytag, said:

“This world-first trial has game-changing implications for recycling in this country. A successful trial, supported by the world’s largest online-only supermarket Ocado Retail, will be a significant step towards the implementation of a DDRS in this country that will provide a much more convenient and environmentally friendly way for households to recover their deposits. Not only that, but brands will also be presented with radical new marketing tools and a wealth of data on how consumers are recycling their products.”

Laura Fernandez, Senior Packaging and Sustainability Manager at Ocado Retail Ltd, added:

“As the world’s largest online supermarket, we champion the use of innovative technology as we strive to become the UK’s most sustainable grocery retailer. Polytag’s digital platform offers plenty of environmental and economic benefits for retailers and customers alike – it’s easy to use and when used at scale, could have a hugely positive impact on the nation’s deposit return scheme. We’re looking forward to seeing how our customers respond to the trial and how many would redeem their deposit at home.”