The ‘reverse vending’ concept remains a relative unknown to most businesses within the UK whilst various government bodies deliberate how best to implement and then monitor the cultural changes required to help reduce the extraordinary levels of recycled material that goes to landfill. Assisting in returning a product to a point where it can be recycled into a useful commodity and recirculated (often in a different guise) into society, brings a welcomed and enthused challenge to business generally and the vending industry in particular.
Reverse vending solutions are already being delivered across Europe in great volumes and with huge success and the process does not need to be complicated. For example, a number of readers/scanners can identify the product as it is presented to the machine, it stores the data and through telemetry can transmit the information to wherever it is required. Credits can be raised and used in several different ways. For example, points to a loyalty card, money to a debit card or a voucher to be redeemed against something specific. A bespoke solution tailored to individual preferences can be created.
Several reverse vending trials are taking place across the UK with businesses that want to develop the idea of reverse vending from both a corporate social responsibility and sustainability standpoint and by enabling their workforce, customers and guests to experience the simplicity of the process whilst also feeling positive for helping to make a difference!
The vending industry by its very nature needs packaging to preserve and hold stock. Given the current zeitgeist around climate change and waste reduction, can the industry afford not to address the recycling issue? And isn’t reverse vending an apposite method to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to sustainability?
Mark Stevens, Director, Scobie McIntosh