Jamshedpur, May 15 : Imagine being rewarded for disposing every single plastic bottle and in return getting cash discount coupons. Interesting! Yes the weird sounding idea is now a reality in the Steel City.
As the city gears up to celebrate World Environment Day (June 5), the civic body, Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) is taking several steps to spread awareness on the ill effects of plastic on environment. JNAC has come up with reverse vending machine doles out discount coupons when someone drops used bottles and cans into it.
The reverse vending machine made by Zeleno, has a digital screen. When users insert bottles by following some basic commands on the touchscreen, the machine provides various reward options. After a particular option is selected, the machine prints a receipt that can be redeemed at a specific restaurant, mall or shop. The machines have been installed at Bistupur, Sakchi and Mango.
“Under Public-Private Partnership ( PPP) an eco-friendly method of trash disposal has been installed in different parts of the city. We are of the opinion that the monetary benefit will encourage people to dispose of bottles at the appropriated place and keep the city clean. We have selected commercial and public places for the installation of smart bins because the use of plastic bottles and soft drink cans is maximum in such areas,” said Sanjay Kumar Pandey, Special Officer, JNAC.
He further said: “These machines have been designed as a cost-effective means for disposal of waste plastic bottles. It is really very easy to use the machine. The crusher places the empty bottle into the receiving aperture, the horizontal in-feed system allows the user to insert containers one at a time. Once a bottle is inserted, it is crushed to reduce its size. The plastic then is used for recycling”.
The company that owns Zeleno, has tied-ups with several city-based fast food vendors, garments shops and ice-cream parlours where the coupons could be redeemed.
The coupons with discounts of 5-25 percent can be redeemed at select brands. The crushed bottles will be sent for recycling and used as raw material for making clothes, carpets and grocery bags.
Pandey said that such machines were first installed at Connaught Place in New Delhi and inspired from there, JNAC decided to adopt. He noted that the response of the machines has been overwhelming so far.
” It is often seen that people throw away garbage and plastics on the roads and pavements without even bothering to look for the bin installed in the area. The initiative is an attempt to promote behavioural change and encourage people to use dustbins,” said Pandey.