One Cool Thing: Reverse Vending Machines

Reverse Vending Machines Photo: Dan Ryan, AP

A supermarket chain in the U.K. announced last week the success of its “reverse vending machines” – shoppers at just five Iceland Store sites returned more than 300,000 plastic bottles, with a daily average of 2,583 bottles in November, according to The Guardian.  The machine provides a small refund for each plastic bottle recycled.  In the United States, we use more than 100 billion 12 oz plastic water bottles a year, which is the equivalent of 912 million gallons of oil. If laid end to end, that’s enough bottles to travel to the moon and back 10 times.  Worse yet, only about 30% of plastic bottles are recycled.  We need some reverse vending machines here!  These reverse vending machines can currently be found in 38 other countries.

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