Digital DRS

Using technology to bring convenience to the deposit return scheme.

“The roll-out of a UK DRS should consider a digital DRS approach which allows consumers the convenience of recycling at home, which is the preferred option”

Queens University Belfast – School of Psychology

The future of DRS is digital

The Deposit Return Scheme is a government led initiative to reduce littering, where people pay a deposit on drinks containers and receive that deposit back when they return the container for recycling.

Reward4Waste is a digital DRS. Our pioneering solution uses digitisation to capture in-scope drinks containers (of any size or material) so citizens can recycle at home, on-the-go, using a smart bin or RVM. The ultimate convenience.

Reward4Waste is better for the environment, better for the economy, better for business and ultimately better for consumers.

How does Reward4Waste work?

Unique identifying codes are generated and placed on each ‘in scope’ drinks container. Citizens use the free Reward4Waste app to record their recycling and redeem their refunds, scanning the unique code on the recycling point and on their drinks containers to capture a recycle. Transactions are recorded immutably on the green blockchain.

Code agnostic

We provide a code agnostic solution. Reward4Waste can generate unique codes but we can also work with other code providers, to offer full flexibility and ease of adoption.

Digitisation is without doubt the future of a true circular economy, allowing for secure end-to-end traceability and transparency of waste for full accountability.

Rich data and insights

With secure end-to-end traceability and transparency, Reward4Waste brings digital intelligence to Deposit Return Schemes.

Securing collecting, managing and modelling  rich data and insights to help bring accountability that supports measurable and informed decisions.

The consumer journey

Front end simplicity – back end intelligence.  Reward4Waste is a digitalDRS that brings the ultimate flexibility and convenience for citizens.

1. Download app and register
2. Scan the recycling bin
3. Scan the drinks container
4. Recycle
5. Get deposit or rewards

World first trial
proof of concept

We recently ran a Digital DRS trial in Whitehead NI in collaboration with Bryson Recycling and MEA Borough Council, with support from Britvic Ireland, PepsiCo, Encirc and SPAR Whitehead. Queens University Belfast independently assessed the trial.

Our next digital DRS trial is coming soon.

Revolutionise Recycling

Follow our journey to see how it works

Click and Scroll on the stages below


Recycling should be as easy as possible for the consumer - Reward4Waste puts the consumer at the heart of what we do, so they can recycle at home and on-the-go.

Reward4Waste uses existing waste infrastructure, delivering the most convenient options for returning packaging.

Consumers simply download the free Reward4Waste app on their phones and play their part to revolutionise recycling. Available on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

When purchasing a drink that is in-scope of the DRS, say, in a plastic drink bottle, the consumer will pay a deposit in addition to the cost of the drink.

The consumer receives their deposit back each time they recycle simply by scanning their recycling bin, then scanning the unique code on each item to be recycled before dropping them in the bin. Where recyclable materials have separate bins, consumers carry out the process for each bin/material.

When each item is recycled, consumers can monetise and ‘cash out’, collect Reward Points (that can be used like a loyalty scheme) or donate to charity.

Many consumers are confused about what can and can’t be recycled, and Reward4Waste can give guidance on its recyclability when scanned in. The app can also link with local council waste policies, again easing any confusion.

For a small minority of households who don’t own smart phones, we offer other solutions to take part.

Deposit Point

Reward4Waste can use existing deposit infrastructure, enabling convenient options for returning packaging at home and ‘on-the-go’.

When recycling at a public recycling point, the consumer scans the unique ID code on the recycling Deposit Point (which can be any bin, receptacle or reverse vending machine at home, at work or on-the-go, providing it has been allocated a unique identifying code) and the product’s unique ID code printed on the container, and then recycles.

The recycle is registered once these 2 scans have taken place, and the consumer is then credited with their deposit or rewarded with points (for rewards schemes or to donate to charity) via the app.

Reward4Waste uses blockchain technology and unique codes (serialisation) on every item which brings several advantages over existing systems:

  • It prevents any product from being recycled twice.
  • If a consumer scans an item to claim back their deposit but then throws it away as litter it can be picked up and rescanned which will identify who claimed the deposit without recycling. Identifying ‘bad actors’ in this way allows us to send advisory messages and remove them from the system either temporarily or permanently.
  • Fraud is reduced to close to zero.
  • Producers can trace product from being packaged through to it being recycled. This gives traceability for provenance and rich consumer data.
  • Data can be kept totally confidentially for each stakeholder.

Waste Management Organisation

The WMO collects and recycles, contributing to a sustainable future built around a circular economy. Reward4Waste receives and validates data from the WMO.

Reward4Waste works hand-in-hand with existing infrastructure such as static bins or kerbside collections – minimising effort for consumers and maximising recycling rates without disadvantaging existing processes.


Reward4Waste sends proprietary unique identifying codes to producers, who then label their items with this code, to track through their journey to recycling and eventual reuse.

Producers send production information back to Reward4Waste.

Reward4Waste records each transaction on an auditable and immutable blockchain, which can be programmed to know where the item was produced, what it contained and the recyclable material it comprises. It then tracks the item through the circular economy.

Each producer has free access to their own data ‘node’ but will not be able to see data any other producer or system user.

Producers with containers not in-scope of DRS (for example fabric conditioner) can also use Reward4Waste, by encouraging consumers to recycle by offering Reward Points. These Reward Points can then be claimed against future purchases, used within loyalty schemes or donated to charity.

Brand Owners

Reward4Waste increases recycling and rewards users - acting as a loyalty programme where appropriate and bringing rich data and insights on recycling behaviour.

It records who recycled it and where, and if required, can continue to track its journey post return by the consumer. This insight into recycling and consumption behaviour can bring rich learnings to brand owners.

Reward4Waste works hand in hand with brand owners sustainability and marketing strategies.



We are running trials and pilots on Reward4Waste. Our technology is also ready to roll out for digital recycling or digital re-use. Please get in touch and we can chat through how you can get involved and how Reward4Waste can work in your organisation.

1. Transforming consumer behaviour around recycling – the app incentivises and rewards consumers for recycling, whilst having the ability to engage and provide clarity over recycling

2. Bringing incremental economic value through the recycled and re-used items – a true circular economy

3. Immutable, secure and auditable – tracking packaging end to end

4. Capturing data and insights over time to understand consumer behaviour around recycling

5. With Digital DRS, Reward4Waste works within existing waste management and recycling infrastucture – reducing costs and carbon footprint

6. Reward4Waste offers a real chance to accelerate change and make a positive difference

7. Reward4Waste brings consumer ease to recycling

We are collaborating with interested partners to trial Reward4Waste in several communities and organisations. Reward4Waste offers a real chance to accelerate change. If you would like Reward4Waste in your community, place of study or work, please get in touch at

CryptoCycle is not currently raising funds through external funding rounds.

However, we are always interested in talking to potential investors, particularly those who can bring relevant knowledge and experience.

If you are interested in potentially investing in CryptoCycle then please contact us by emailing

There is a growing global awareness of the waste crisis; governments across the globe are under pressure to take action.

The UN Global Partnership on Marine Litter has an action plan put forward by the G7 and G20 and a resolution on marine litter and microplastics was adopted at the United Nations Environment Assembly.

The EU has set out its vision for Europe’s new plastics economy EU Member States will be obliged to reach a 90% collection rate for disposable plastic drink bottles by 2025. By 2030 all plastics packaging placed on the EU market will be recyclable or easily recycled. An EU target is in place for recycling 65% of municipal waste by 2030 and the EU has issued a directive requiring every soft drink producer to use at least 25% recycling by 2025.

Plans are in place to introduce a DRS scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by 2023 with Scotland the first to implement within the UK.

Ambitious legislative targets are being put in place; many countries will struggle to meet targets and new processes and levers need to be developed to tackle the practicality of waste management and the inertia in behavioural change.

We believe radically improving recycling is the cornerstone to turning the plastic tide. It is clear that collection, sorting and reprocessing need to improve, but in parallel having a circular system that engages and changes consumers behaviour through incentivisation is critical to the success of any solution.

Deposit return schemes (DRS) are becoming more and more common all around the world. When you purchase a drink in a plastic bottle (in some cases glass) you’ll be charged a small deposit at point of purchase. When you return the bottle for recycling, you will receive your deposit back.

How your deposit is returned to you is dependent on how the country runs their DRS. In some nations, you’ll need to return the bottle to a Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) at a superstore or other retail location. In other countries, the bottle will need to be returned to a designated recycling point (like a council run tip or waste management site). Regardless of the location, the deposit is always able to be claimed back.

The UK government has announced a DRS will be introduced in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2024, with Scotland looking to introduce a DRS earlier.

Reward4Waste have developed a system where deposits for beverage containers will be returned through an app that gives an instant reward or loyalty card style collection of points dependent on how the consumer wishes to be rewarded for recycling. This is known as Digital DRS and we are known in the industry as the Digital DRS pioneers

We are really excited about the potential of Reward4Waste, and are currently working with key stakeholders and interested parties to help bring this idea to life across the UK and beyond. Please do contact at if you would like to talk to us about how Reward4Waste could benefit your business.

Our recent trial in Northern Ireland provided proof of concept. Our vision is to launch Reward4Waste Digital DRS across the UK and beyond from 2024.

Our Digital Recycling and Digital Re-use schemes are available to be integrated into your business today. Please get in touch to find out more.

Global smartphone ownership grows daily. According to recent research, in the UK 95% of all households in the UK own a mobile phone, with 78% of those using a smart phone and this number is growing fast.

Having an app based solution makes Reward4Waste easy and convenient to use, however, for those without a smart phone, we have a home scan option.

Reward4Waste uses unique codes which are placed on each individual item (either on the physical product or a receipt).

Digitisation is without doubt the future of a true circular economy, allowing for traceability of waste, immutability, flexibility, rich insights and data – for cradle to grave accountability.

We are code agnostic – we can either create the unique codes for you, or work with your unique codes.

We believe that Blockchain technology has the potential to transform recycling behaviour. Blockchain provides a digital ledger that is a continuously growing distributed database and cryptographically secured. Blockchain offers immutability, security and is fraud proof. However, we believe in green blockchain – so that it has a low carbon footprint.

A reverse vending machine (RVM) uses technology to identify, collect and process used beverage containers for reuse or recycling.

Using the example of a standard vending machine, you insert money and receive a drink or other item in return for your money. When using a reverse vending machine, you insert an empty drinks bottle and receive money in return for recycling.

Reward4Waste works like a reverse vending machine from your phone, using the app to allow you to recycle your bottle in return for a reward. Due to the unique coding system you can only redeem the same container once (so there is no fraud).

To find out more
about Digital DRS

We can help you achieve your DRS, EPR & sustainability targets. Reward4Waste is an app that rewards you for recycling. If you are a business and want to find out more, fill out the form to the right and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Contact us today to find out more