'Recycle Glasgow' pilot launched to help Scots go digital in fight against single-use plastic

February 9, 2022 | London, UK
  • HELPFUL and Mastercard partner with the Scottish Grocer’s Federation to trial micropayments for Scotland’s single-use drinks containers Deposit Return Scheme
  • Scots will get 20p paid into their digital wallet for each single-use plastic bottle returned
  • New scheme will reduce Scotland’s CO2e emissions by 160,000 tonnes a year

Today, HELPFUL and Mastercard launch the first ever digital wallets and micropayments for the Scottish Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) pilot. The digital innovation, designed to make it easier to collect rewards for returning single-use plastic bottles, will reward users with 20p for each bottle collected. The scheme is set to reduce Scotland’s CO2e emissions by 160,000 tonnes a year, the equivalent of taking 83,000 cars off the road.*

HELPFUL, the sustainable payments provider, is trialling its digital wallets and micropayments in Glasgow to challenge throwaway culture and contribute to the fight against climate change. Consumers will be digitally rewarded for every container they return through their ‘Recycle Glasgow’ app. The introduction of the Recycle Glasgow app means that recycling single-use plastic bottles is now as simple as scanning the barcode on the bottle, returning the bottle into a smart recycling bin or handing it over to the shopkeeper and getting the 20p refund directly into their HELPFUL digital wallet.

Consumers can download the Recycle Glasgow app from their app store and return their plastic bottle to one of the participating conveniences stores across the city of Glasgow. (Locations are available in the app)

For every bottle recycled a tree will be planted via Mastercard's Priceless Planet Coalition, which seeks to restore 100 million trees by 2025. Launched in January 2020, the Priceless Planet Coalition unites the efforts of consumers, financial institutions, merchants and cities to fight climate change – together with climate science and forest restoration experts Conservation International (CI) and World Resources Institute (WRI).

Founder of HELPFUL, Evan Michaels said: "We're incredibly excited to help to provide a solution to enhance the upcoming DRS scheme with the introduction of digital wallets and micropayments. Aimed at everyone, but especially the young and engaged 18-34 year-olds, we will be working within the local communities and local schools to help educate and inspire action, as well as enabling recycling funds to go to schools and charitable causes.”

Scott Abrahams, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Mastercard UK & Ireland added “Mastercard is committed to building a more inclusive and sustainable digital economy, where people, communities and the planet can thrive. We are thrilled to have worked with HELPFUL to develop the Recycle Glasgow pilot, offering environmentally-conscious consumers an easy way to help the planet by recycling single use containers –and being rewarded for it.”

-Ends -

* 2.5 billion+ recyclable drinks containers are used in Scotland every year. The Deposit Return Scheme aims to capture 90% of them, which could reduce Scotland’s CO2e emissions by 160.000 tonnes of CO2e a year (the equivalent of taking 83,000 cars off the road) and remove 34,000 drinks containers that littering the Scottish streets and countryside every year.

Ref: Zero Waste Scotland (Iain Gulland, Chief Executive)

Media Contacts

Suman Hughes, Mastercard


HELPFUL is a UK fintech, developing sustainable payments solutions for businesses that demand greener transactions, faster settlements, lower costs and seamless customer experiences.

The HELPFUL Debit Mastercard is issued by PayrNet Ltd pursuant to license by Mastercard International Inc. PayrNet Ltd is authorised by Financial Conduct Authority to conduct electronic money service activities under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 (Ref: 900594)

About Mastercard (UK)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.