Token gesture: Albert Heijn abolishes coin-operated trolleys

Leading supermarket chain Albert Heijn is abandoning the coin deposit system for its shopping trolleys, a spokesman has told

The system causes irritation when customers have to fumble for a coin or token, or forget to bring one, the spokesman said. Doing away with it will also mean less plastic ends up in the environment, he said.

Albert Heijn temporarily postponed the use of coins and tokens during the pandemic to reduce the chance of contact contamination. ‘We found things went very well without them, the spokesman said. ‘We didn’t see an increase in shopping carts disappearing.’

The disappearance of the costly carts was the reason the system was introduced in the first place, in 1985. Carts ended up in ditches, streets or as rabbit hutches in back gardens.

Most supermarkets use plastic tokens. The move may well prompt other chains to ditch them as well, predicted.

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