Supermarket giant Tesco has reassessed the way it rewards customers recycling items in its 'reverse vending machines' following reports that individuals were cutting plastic bottles into tiny scraps in order to pass them off as more items.
Under the old system the machines, which are in place in some 40 stores, would award points for Tesco's ClubCard loyalty scheme based on the number of items recycled.
Points were awarded for glass jars and bottles, cans and plastic items such as bottles and yoghurt pots.
But, according to Tesco, some customers spotted a loophole in the system and exploited it, leading to their receiving far more points than they were due.
Asked how widespread the problem was, a spokesman for Tesco told edie he did not have the numbers, but issued a statement saying: "Clubcard points for all materials were originally trialled on some machines to incentivise customers to recycle, however this trial has now ended.
"The current promotion is that one Green Clubcard Point will be given for every two aluminium cans recycled.
"A small but significant number did not enter into the spirit of the reward scheme and we understand that this is frustrating for others.
"Tesco does not make a profit from automated recycling centres and we support the provision of the machine in order to provide a service for customers."
Previously, most of the machines awarded one point for every four items recycled.
Now points will only be rewarded for aluminium cans, but the number of items needed to receive a point has been cut to two.
Tesco customers receive vouchers offering them £1 off goods bought from the store for every 100 ClubCard points they have earned.
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