be’ah launches reverse vending machines for PET bottles collection

Roundup Monday 10/January/2022 15:33 PM
By: Times News Service
be’ah launches reverse vending machines for PET bottles collection

Muscat: As part of the efforts made to ensure safe disposal of PET bottles, Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (be’ah), the nation’s sole waste management entity, launched Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) for the collection of used PET bottles. The initiative comes in a bid by the company to integrate the recycling culture, promote the circular economy, recover the value of materials, and reduce the produced quantities of waste.

The RVM machines employ Artificial Intelligence (AI) through embedded sensors to accept only PET bottles and reject non-PET bottles and other items.

be’ah has so far installed 17 reverse vending machines at key locations across Muscat Governorate this year – with plans in place for a broader deployment at the other governorates in the coming stage.

As part of this project, be'ah has signed agreements with several local companies to support the project as part of their respective corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. These agreements are divided into two types.

As for the first type related to the locations of these machines, agreements were signed to allocate sites for these machines with petroleum products marketing companies such as Oman Oil Marketing Company, Shell Oman Marketing Company in addition to a number of key shopping malls such as Carrefour Al Seeb, Qurum & Muscat Grand Mall. be’ah has also signed an agreement with Omantel (as a strategic partner) to offer simple rewards and incentives to users of these machines in support of this project. Moreover, be’ah signed other agreements with other companies as well to provide different rewards and incentives.

Commenting on this initiative, Kumail bin Ahmed Al Lawati, Head of Business Development Department at be’ah, said: “The aim of this project is to educate the community about the need to play a greater role regarding the large consumption of plastic bottles in the Sultanate. The PET bottles constitute a great burden on the waste management entities. The RVM will contribute to instilling and promoting the culture of recycling and sustainable behaviours among community members.”

“The aim of RVMs is to collect PET bottles of various sizes by encouraging community members to dispose of them in these machines instead of throwing them in regular garbage bins. Those who dispose of plastic bottles through these machines will receive various rewards, presented by our partners such as Omantel and a number of other companies. The collected PET bottles will be sent to various recycling facilities in the Sultanate in order to recover their value and ensure the use of locally recycled materials”, he added.

Saba Said Al Busaidi, Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs at Omantel, said, "We are pleased to be a strategic partner in this vital project, which is in line with Omantel's strategy and CSR initiatives related to the environment. Omantel, the leading national company in providing integrated telecommunications services in the Sultanate, is very keen on reducing the negative effects of our operations on the environment and using environment-friendly technologies. This project is part of many steps taken by Omantel to preserve the environment. Omantel will provide technical expertise such as artificial intelligence to ensure the smooth operation of the RVMs. We will also use our experience to raise awareness about the project by encouraging our subscribers to use the RVMs.”

It is worth mentioning that Oman's Vision 2040 focuses on the adoption of a circular economy as part of the Sultanate’s plans to shift from the linear economy (extraction, manufacturing, and disposal) to the circular economy to preserve the value of resources.

The circular economy creates new job opportunities, alleviates health and environmental problems, and reduces pollution. Moreover, improving the waste collection, transportation, and disposal system contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions as emissions from waste collection vehicles and engineering landfills become less due to the decomposition of organic waste in them.