Coca-Cola Pilots Reverse Vending Machines

July 27, 2018

Coca-cola is piloting reverse vending machines (RVM) that give back charitable donations for recycling, according to its website. Its charitable donations are going towards the 2018 Special Olympics being held this week in Seattle. Every recycled item triggers a five cent ($ .05) donation to Special Olympics Washington through the  Coca-Cola Give platform. Coca-Cola North America’s Customer Sustainability and Digital Platforms & Innovation teams collaborated with Special Olympics, Swire Coca-Cola USA and the New York-based equipment supplier, Atlas RVM Systems to make this happen.  

“We worked very quickly to determine what was possible from a technology, logistics and transportation standpoint,” said Renee Bedford, senior manager, container deposit governance. 

The pilot supports Coke’s “World Without Waste” vision to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells globally by 2030. The company is also looking at opportunities in which to place the experimental reverse vending machines in retail locations and events, such as music festivals, where fans could recycle to ear perks like VIP upgrades. 

“We want to show the athletes and their families, friends and fans how rewarding recycling and sustainability efforts can be for the broader community,” said Nicole Smith, sustainability manager, customer collaborations, Coca-Cola North America. “Being able to connect the Recycle and Give RVM was a huge win in connecting recycling with rewarding important causes like Special Olympics.”