READING Festival will be trialling a ground-breaking deposit and return scheme.

Co-op are introducing reverse vending machines at four major UK summer festivals.

They will become the first ever UK retailer to launch a deposit and return scheme (DRS), by piloting the machines at some of the biggest summer music festivals.

Plastic bottles sold at the pop-up stores throughout the festival will have a deposit added to the price and festival goers can exchange finished drinks for store vouchers, with the bottles being recycled for re-use by Co-op.

The DRS will be unveiled at a pop-up Co-op store at Download, Latitude and Reading and Leeds festivals.

Melvin Benn, Managing Director of Festival Republic, said: “We welcome over 350,000 revellers across these four iconic festival sites.

“It’s absolutely fantastic to think that they will be amongst the first people in the UK to have the opportunity to recycle their plastic bottles simply and easily using the reverse vending machines, in addition to the existing deposit return schemes at the festivals.”

The initiative is part of Co-op’s ongoing commitment to increase recycling and reduce marine pollution.

Jo Whitfield, Retail CEO, Co-op, said: “Reducing the amount of plastic that makes its way to landfill is really important to us and our members.

“We’re committed to giving our customers ways to make more ethical choices, so this is a hugely exciting milestone in our sustainability journey to achieve our future aim of making all of our food packaging 100% recyclable.”