Recycling instead of smoking

Institute of Environmental Protection has launched Poland’s first interactive machine for collecting and recycling plastic bottles and aluminium cans. IO?-PIB set itself the goal of promoting ecological attitudes using social media as part of the educational campaign Stop-Smog.

At the Institute for Environmental Protection – National Research Institute at Krucza 5/11D Street in Warsaw, the first RVM (Reverse Vending Machine) machine was installed in Poland for the collection of PET bottles (plastics) and aluminium cans, the return of which is not subject to deposit. The device is a modern point that collects a homogeneous fraction of waste, which is then transferred to material recycling.
The ceremony of putting the RVM into service was attended by, among othersKarsten Klepsvik – Ambassador of Norway, Pawel Salek – Deputy Minister of Environment, Thor Sverre Minnesjordpresident of the Norwegian project partner Green Business Norway and Krystian Szczepanski – director of IOŚ-PIB. The invited guests also had an opportunity to visit the air monitoring station at ul. Marsza?kowska 68 in Warsaw, where experts from the Institute of Environmental Protection presented its principles and contribution to building the environmental awareness of Warsaw residents.

The PET bottle taker is not only a way to recycle packaging. It is also a form of promoting ecological attitudes in social media. It is the first intelligent machine in Poland to receive bottles and cans, equipped with a mobile application for smartphones and integrated with social media, which grants loyalty points while using gaming mechanisms. The collected points can be exchanged for ecological accessories, e. g. green accessories. Reusable linen bag with StopSmog logo. In this way, everyone who uses the device will be able to boast of their responsible attitude in the Internet, engage in an online campaign of friends to spread the environmental awareness in the Polish society.

The example follows in advance

The device is very comfortable to use. It is equipped with an intuitive touch screen, which enables easy communication with users and additionally presents educational and informational content. Automation machines of this type are commonly used in countries with deposit system. In Norway, for example, this is the way to recover around 85%. packaging waste from beverages. Even better results were achieved in Lithuania, where – despite a relatively short period of time since the introduction of the system – it was possible to reach the level of 90%. But also in countries not covered by the deposit system for beverage packaging, RVMs can be used for efficient collection of bottles and cans. If they also have the tools to run a modern, interactive educational and informational campaign, they become doubly useful for people and the environment.

The machine is an element of the activities of the Institute of Environmental Protection within the framework of the national educational campaign Stop Smog, whose main goal is to raise the environmental awareness of the society. It aims to make Poles aware of the fact that beverage packaging should be handed over for material recycling, and not used as a toxic fuel in stoves – based on the fact that the emission of toxic gases is not only harmful to human health, but also particularly dangerous for the natural environment. By making the RVM machine available to the inhabitants of Warsaw, IO?-PIB wants to set a good example, so that in Poland there are more such devices, which will eventually reach the whole country. This is all the more so because these devices are perfectly in line with the assumptions of Circular Economy, according to which plastic and metal packaging – instead of landing in a collective basket or furnace – goes to recycling.

Lidia Orzechowska