Get Paid for Your Plastic

Here at James Waste we love discovering new ways to recycle and we are particularly excited about this idea. It’s a simple transaction and yet it is changing the face of recycling. There are so many environmental benefits to reusing our waste instead of filling up our landfills and small-scale recycling is being thrust into the future with a widespread production of reverse vending machines.

When you really think about it, most people have a plastic bottle or two that they get rid of daily. That’s a whole lot of plastic that we don’t want to see littered on the ground or filling up landfills. And that’s where the reverse vending machine comes in. Reverse vending machines don’t just recycle your old plastic bottles, they reward you for it. What better way to get people on board and excited about recycling than by giving them an incentive to do it?

This article aims to explain reverse vending machines, how they are used, where to find one and how they are changing the face of recycling as we know it. Read on to find out more!

How They Work

Reverse vending machines accept your plastic bottles in exchange for cash – the opposite of traditional vending machines, hence the name. Unlike traditional recycling bins, where people would often contaminate the recycling by throwing in their regular garbage, the reverse vending machine will only accept plastic bottles.

So, this is how you use one:

  • Enter your plastic bottles into the machine one at a time. The display panel on the front of the machine will keep count of each item you deposit.
  • Once you have entered all of your bottles, hit the button on the front of the machine. The machine will then print out a receipt with a cash value on the front. This amount can be redeemed for cash at a till within the store.

If the wrong kind of bottle is entered, the machine will reject and return it to the sender. Plastic bottles are carefully stored in the machine until it is full and can be collected for reuse.

Where can I find a reversible vending machine?

There are 100,000 reverse vending machines installed throughout the world. They are commonly found in supermarkets or places where recycling is mandatory. There are many reverse vending machines being installed in IKEA stores across Europe.

IKEA shoppers are able to recycle glass, plastic or aluminium containers purchased from the restaurant in their Glasgow shop. Once they are returned and deposited through the machine, shoppers with be offered the choice of a 10p voucher to redeem in-store or a 10p donation to one of the stores’ selected charities.

Companies Involved

Reverse vending machines are rapidly growing in popularity. The goal of the machines is to recycle at least 400 million containers annually, that’s saving a lot of plastic bottles from entering our landfills. Many recycling companies are becoming involved in making these machines to help boost the popularity of the recycling industry. Below are just a few of the companies involved in this remarkable innovation:

  • GreenOps
  • ReVend
  • TerraCycle
  • Tomra
  • Envipco

Why not go and check them out?

The popularity of these machines is ever-growing and experts have stated that the machines are helping to promote recycling. The hope is that the machines could later be placed in shopping areas, universities and institutes, as well as local communities.

The reverse vending machine is a fantastic innovation and is certainly promoting recycling around the world. However, we still have a long way to go. Here at James Waste, we believe that the most important task we have is to educate people about the importance of sustainability, recycling and reusability. Moving into a sustainable and eco-friendly world is a difficult task but I think we are slowly starting to see improvements.

Have you ever come across one of these machines? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear from you!

Author: Ben Taylor

Eco Warrior! Recycling Buff! Owner of James Waste Management LLP, UK recycling over 90% of waste.

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