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Reverse Recycling Bins Filling To Brim On Day One As 30,000 Bottles Deposited By Midday

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It’s day one of Malta’s new reverse vending machine scheme and the recycling initiative is already generating major interest… some might even say too much interest.

Some reverse vending machines have already filled up within a few hours.

BCRS CEO Edward Chetcuti told Lovin Malta that over 30,000 bottles have already been collected by midday and the first of them have started arriving at the plant.

“There has been a lot of interest and the rate of return in some locations has been very large,” he said.

Interest in some areas was so great that some machines quickly filled up, leaving residents stranded with empty bottles and nowhere nearby to deposit them.

Bin 1 full - A Marsaskala reverse vending machine earlier today

Bin 1 full - A Marsaskala reverse vending machine earlier today

“Both machines in Marsaskala [at St Thomas Bay and Triq iż-Żonqor] have been full since the early hours of the morning,” a Marsaskala resident informed Lovin Malta.

“I already went three times to check how it is working out but to no avail,” he said, adding that he called up the BCRS helpline but no one answered the phone.

“How can two machines cater for all the Marsaskala residents who want to make use of this new system?” he asked.

Chetcuti acknowledged that Marsaskala was particularly busy today and said its reverse vending machines had to be emptied a few times.

 

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“The technology is working, the platform is working, now it’s just about fine-tuning,” he said.

Launched today, the new recycling scheme has seen the retail price of several beverages rise by 10c, with consumers able to redeem this money by depositing the empty bottles in one of some 320 reverse vending machines.

Reverse vending machines accept several types of plastic, metal and glass bottles, including still, sparkling and flavoured water, soft drinks, beers, ciders and dilutables. Wines, spirits, juices and milk cartons aren’t accepted.

As a safeguard against abuse, the machines need to approve the bottle’s shape, scan its bar code and check it against a database of bottles that have entered the Maltese market.

Have you used a reverse vending machine yet?

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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