'Smart' bottle recycler showcases China's new 'green' tech
It looks like a drinks vending machine but works the opposite way - throw in an empty bottle and you get a printed coupon in return, which you can exchange for gifts right away.
Standing in an exhibition hall of the 10th China-Asean Expo, in Nanning, China, this fancy machine attracted numerous visitors seeking the novel experience of being paid for recycling beverage bottles.
Developed by Beijing INCOM Resources Recovery Recycling, the "smart" recycler made its debut in the Advanced Technology Exhibition Hall of CAEXPO at 12.30pm on September 3. Just three hours later, the machine had collected nearly 300 bottles. A member of staff demonstrated how it worked by first touching the "deposit a bottle" button on the screen, which opened the bottle slot on the upper right corner. After depositing the bottle, with its barcode placed upward for scanning, you press the "coupon printing" button. Then, all you have to do is wait for your coupon.
The recycler is so "smart" that it will automatically reject bottles without a barcode, or those with too much beverage left inside, or those that are not beverage bottles.
Feng Juan, INCOM marketing manager, told reporters the company hoped the CAEXPO showcase would promote and popularise the idea that it takes minimal effort to protect our environment. The new recycling machine would help build people's awareness of the importance of conserving precious natural resources and also offered a practical way of reducing plastic pollution caused by bottle littering and water and soil pollution resulting from illegal recycling processes.
The smart recycler has been in use in Beijing since the end of 2012, but the company chose the CAEXPO to introduce the new recycling concept of "exchanging-bottles-for-profit". The move is part of a wider drive to promote China's new scientific and technological solutions for environmental protection to Asean countries and beyond.