Abu Dhabi announces the opening of reverse vending machines in a major recycling push

Through the collaborative effort with ADNOC Distribution, EAD aims to recycle more than one million water bottles made of plastic that are intended for a single use per day

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EAD and ADNOC Distribution launched a reverse vending machine (RVM) initiative on World Environment Day. 400 ADNOC retail service stations will offer recycling.

Carrefour, Lulu, Abu Dhabi Coops, Choithrams, Spinneys, Waitrose, and Spar support the programme.

The effort aims to recover 50% of the emirate's 7,500 tonnes of single-use plastic water bottles. Return Vending Machines (RVMs), smart bins, and other door-to-door collecting apps will help reach the goal.

Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, EAD Secretary General, said: “We recently announced the remarkable success of the first year of our single-use plastic bag ban. We continue to launch Abu Dhabi-wide single-use plastic reduction efforts to build on this success.

“This bottle recovery initiative aims to drastically reduce single-use plastic bottle pollution. Because a single-use plastic bottle takes 450 years to disintegrate, microplastic will pollute our terrestrial and marine environments, impacting biodiversity, ecosystems, and human health.

“We are working with various organisations to increase bottle collection and recycling. We're deploying bottle recovery infrastructure with key stakeholders this month. We aim to recycle over one million single-use plastic water bottles daily.

Abu Dhabi RVM-encouraged recycling
ADNOC customers can now deposit used plastic bottles and aluminium cans at RVMs to earn loyalty points that can be used at retail stations. Customers may trace their RVM deposits on each machine.

The following phase will complete ADNOC's retail station RVM rollout.

The EAD's "Mission to Zero" outreach campaign has been working with Veolia's RECAPP programme to deploy RVMs in malls, academic institutions, the Abu Dhabi Corniche, and other high-traffic areas. EAD wants zero plastic, waste, emissions, and biodiversity damage.

Dr. Al Dhaheri added: “We conducted a study to determine the best way to engage the community to foster a recycling culture, and we found that an incentive-based scheme would lead to the best results. Thus, RVMs will offer consumers an enticing incentive because we know that rewarding sustainable everyday habits motivates people to do more.”

ADNOC Distribution CEO Bader Saeed Al Lamki remarked, “By offering recycling opportunities at our ADNOC service stations, we are capturing a unique opportunity to involve our customers in our sustainability journey. RVMs will reduce waste, recycle plastic and aluminium, and educate customers about environmental issues.

Each RVM sends an electronic alert to a professional recycling collection agent when full to effectively collect and transport bottles and cans to a local recycling centre.

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