Ooty, short for Udhakamandala, is a popular hill resort in the state of Tamil Nadu in Southern India. And apart from this distinction, the place last month became single-use plastic free; not just that – it has installed reverse vending machines (RVMs).
Vending machine gives out stuff and when its reverse, it means it takes in stuff. So Ooty has installed five reverse vending machines which collects and recycles PET bottles.
Every plastic bottle, be it water or shampoo or cleaner, juice, oil or anything which comes in plastic bottles can be put into the machine and in exchange, the depositor will be rewarded a cashback Paytm coupon for every plastic bottle deposited. These machines can shred and store up to 1500 plastic bottles, which will later be transported to the recyclers based in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
These bottles will be further turned into flakes and granules which will be used to prepare textile thread to produce T-shirts, athletic shoes, luggage, upholstery and sweaters; fiberfill for sleeping bags and winter coats; industrial strapping, sheet and film; automotive parts, such as luggage racks, headliners, fuse boxes, bumpers, grilles, door panels etc. This will earn revenue for the Govt as one gets Rs.25-30/kg of recycled or shredded PET bottles.
The Madras high court has banned sale of plastic water bottles, soft drinks packed in PET bottles and food items packed in plastic covers. Following this, all the check posts on the highways leading to Udhagamandalam, the district administration had set up 70 water ATMs at various places, including tourist spots in the district to facilitate supply of drinking water to tourists and locals. Wow! This is a fantastic intiative and we hope that more and more of these RVMs come up all across India.