Albert Heijn ditches shopping trolley coin deposit system
Albert Heijn is saying goodbye to its shopping trolley coin system. The Netherlands’ largest supermarket chain wants to cut down on plastic by ditching the plastic coins and also save customers some irritation if they don’t have a coin with them, a spokesperson said to NU.nl.
“During the coronavirus pandemic, we saw that it actually went well without coins,” the Albert Heijn spokesperson said to the newspaper. “No more or fewer trolleys disappeared.”
Albert Heijn introduced the coin system in 1985 because customers took the trolley home and never returned it. It started with customers having to put a guilder in to release a shopping trolley from the row. When the euro was introduced, the guilder became a 50-cent coin. Shortly after that, Albert Heijn implemented its own coin. These were initially mostly made of metal but gradually changed to plastic.
“We can save a lot of plastic by stopping the system,” the Albert Heijn spokesperson said. The supermarket will start by taping the coin locks closed, so they can no longer be used. “The intention is that those locks will be removed completely later.”
Albert Hejin has about 1,000 stores with trolleys in the Netherlands.