I went shopping in a DelHaize, a grocery store chain, in Belgium, and came across this machine! I had conceptually came up with something quite similar a couple years back, where the user would deposit his/her plastic bottles, bags, and anything made out plastic, get a weight and it would give some sort of credit for either the grocery store, companies affiliated to the machine, gas companies, or even an account where points could accumulate and be used later (like the cvs system).
Anyways, this machine only takes glass. So I chose to go home and research the company and came across some really interesting details about what TOMRA does.
On their website, they describe themselves in the following way:
“TOMRA is the world leader in the field of reverse vending, with over 75,000 installations across more than 60 markets. From pre-sales expertise through to purchasing advice and after-sales service, you can rely on TOMRA for the best machines for collecting and recycling aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles.
Today, consumers go through almost 1.8 trillion beverage containers every year, representing a vast amount of packaging material that can be collected and reused or recycled. Proper handling of used packaging conserves precious resources like energy, water and crude oil and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Users get an instant reward when returning used containers, motivating repeated use and further raising collection rates. As reverse vending solutions are often an integrated part of the grocery retail store, everyday recycling is made convenient, efficient and profitable for all stakeholders.”
I am excited to see that these inventions are being developed and installed!