Imagine a scenario where you are throwing away a used plastic bottle while waiting for your train – nothing unusual – only that you get paid for throwing that bottle away. How? The key fact is that the bottle does not just end up in any wastebasket. It goes to a special recycling unit, a number of which will be set up at train stations in Mumbai, India.
The Swachh Bharat Recycle Machine is an invention that attracts people to recycle instead of carelessly throwing away their plastic waste. Every time a person uses the machine, they receive a very literal reward. The machine itself looks very much like your typical vending machine, but the job it is doing is priceless. Once the user feeds an empty bottle into the unit, the plastic is processed and crushed, later to be sent to fiber manufacturing companies and recycled. Meanwhile, the user gets a reward – to choose from are discount coupons from Sahakari Bhandar and Reliance Fresh Stores, Paytm credit points, or donation of the equivalent money.
The units will be installed in ten suburban train stations in Mumbai, among them Borivali, Bandra, Dadar, and Goregaon. The first machine was already installed at the Churchgate railway station in 2016 and proved to be a great success. It attracted many of the tens of thousands commuters using the station every day, resulting in less plastic trash thrown away to pollute the planet.
The provider of the machines, Wockhardt Foundation, is an organization working towards empowering the underprivileged. The CEO of the foundation underlines the fact that the machines are an answer to the overflow of untreated waste in India and an attempt to finally alleviate the problem.
This fantastic invention is certainly a big step in the right direction, considering how grave the issue of plastic waste has become. Every year, we produce 300 million tons of plastic and do not recycle about 78 percent of it! Around 8.8 million tons of that dangerous waste ends up in the oceans, turning into a serious threat to marine animals. 700 species of those are now facing the risk of extinction. To learn more about the reality of this immense problem and see what you can do to minimize your own use of plastic disposables, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign.
Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.
Image source: Wockhardt Foundation/Facebook