SME Spotlight

Vending machines with green focus

(From left) FairPrice deputy chief executive and head of products Tng Ah Yiam, F&N Foods general manager Jennifer See and Frasers Centrepoint general manager of retail properties Stephanie Ho with a reverse vending machine, which identifies, sorts an
(From left) FairPrice deputy chief executive and head of products Tng Ah Yiam, F&N Foods general manager Jennifer See and Frasers Centrepoint general manager of retail properties Stephanie Ho with a reverse vending machine, which identifies, sorts and collects used cans and bottles for recycling, near Waterway Point’s FairPrice Finest outlet. PHOTO: F&N FOODS

Devices collect used cans, bottles for recycling, spread green message

Unlike regular vending machines, a reverse vending machine rewards users with not only monetary discounts, but also the feel-good factor of saving the environment. This machine, which identifies, sorts and collects used cans and bottles for recycling, is a key feature of Fraser and Neave's (F&N) recycling programme.

F&N has collaborated with FairPrice, Frasers Centrepoint Malls and tech start-up Incon Green to install such machines near FairPrice supermarkets.

F&N hopes these machines will encourage Singaporeans to adopt an eco-conscious lifestyle by offering them the convenience of recycling used cans and bottles.

F&N Foods general manager Jennifer See said: "At F&N, we believe that simple green habits can be encouraged and developed successfully over time, which will help save the environment and the world we live in."

Users insert used cans or bottles - with the barcode facing up - into the machine.

For every five bottles or cans recycled, customers are rewarded with a 50-cent coupon.

The coupon can be used as part of the payment for all products in the Ice Mountain range, a brand under the F&N portfolio.

The first reverse vending machine was launched at Waterway Point, a mall that has been awarded the Building and Construction Authority's Green Mark Gold Plus.

Other reverse vending machines can be found near FairPrice supermarkets at Yew Tee Point and in Bukit Merah Central.

Incon Green chief executive Jack Lee said some 5,000 bottles and cans have been deposited at the three locations since the launch of the programme.

These vending machines will remain there for another two to four months.

Apart from the reverse vending machine, F&N also works with Tzu Chi Foundation and the environmental clubs at various schools.

It provides these participants with manual crusher machines to help recycle plastic bottles.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2018, with the headline 'Vending machines with green focus'. Print Edition | Subscribe