Waste vending machines researched

packaging, waste vending machines

While many Australian states continue to work toward introducing a container deposit scheme to help reduce waste, a business in the United Kingdom is upping the ante.

Specialist PET (polyethylene terephthalate) recycler Enviroo wants to create a reverse vending machine that can collect recyclable waste to encourage people to recycle outside of the home.

The company has commissioned a one-year Masters by Research project at the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, at Lancaster University, to look at behaviours around recycling and discover what incentivises consumers to recycle while on-the-go.

The research will focus on the feasibility of a multi-disciplinary product deposit return scheme (DRS) encompassing a wide range of packaging.

The research is supported by the Eco-I North West project which enables businesses to collaborate with and access the knowledge, facilities and skills of six of the region’s leading universities, including Lancaster.

Masters student, Elisabeth Checketts, will investigate why there are discrepancies in people’s recycling behaviours, with many people more confident in recycling at home compared to when on-the-go.

The focus will be on determining the attitudes, motivations and likely incentives in order to change people’s behaviour and make on-the-go recycling habitual. The project will also investigate how to make a DRS successful; what products the consumer would be interested in recycling and how best to incentivise consumers to use these machines to recycle on the go.

Checketts said she was delighted to be researching behaviours around recycling and working to have a practical impact on people’s recycling habits.

“I believe it is vital to understand people’s behaviours around recycling if we are to create a scheme that becomes habitual for consumers and help the UK move away from exporting our waste overseas.”

Ahmed Detta, Enviroo Chief Executive, said: “A successful deposit return scheme is essential if we are to create a truly circular economy for recycling. With a lack of confidence in recycling and a growing climate emergency it’s never been more important to understand the incentives behind on-the-go recycling to help create a DRS that will create habitual behaviour.”

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