Sharjah: Sharjah will mark Earth Day on Sunday with the launch of 10 Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs), which is part of the city's myBeeah recycling rewards campaign.
The machines, which will be installed at high-footfall locations like Al Majaz Park and Al Qasba, accept plastic bottles and aluminium cans and award a point for every deposit, which can later be redeemed.
“The UAE's first recyclables reverse-vending machines — around 10 — will be placed in high-footfall locations across the city of Sharjah, starting from April 22, along with myBee'ah online portal, www.myBeeah.ae, which is a Bee'ah initiative aimed at empowering the community to practise environmentally friendly habits to live sustainably and improve the environment of the UAE”Share on facebookTweet this
An online portal, www.myBeeah.ae, will also be launched today, allowing people to sign up for the loyalty programme and avail of rewards for their recycling efforts.
"The UAE's first recyclables reverse-vending machines — around 10 — will be placed in high-footfall locations across the city of Sharjah, starting from April 22, along with myBee'ah online portal, www.myBeeah.ae, which is a Bee'ah initiative aimed at empowering the community to practise environmentally friendly habits to live sustainably and improve the environment of the UAE," said Khalid Al Huraimel, CEO of Bee'ah.
Projects to install similar reverse vending machines were announced in Abu Dhabi and Dubai last year, but they have not materialised.
Sharjah also announced it would have such machines installed in December 2011, but the project was delayed for unknown reasons.
The reward system will work on a points basis, with those registered online getting loyalty cards through which points can be collected and redeemed.
Points can be earned for every PET plastic bottle or aluminium can deposited in the machine. The machine will scan the item and then ask the user to scan their myBee'ah card which will award points into their account for which the user will receive a printed voucher.
Shedding light on the objectives of the reward system Al Huraimel added: "People are encouraged and rewarded for their good actions which benefit both their environment and their city. The objective of this loyalty programme is to reward loyal environmentalists for their individual recycling efforts by earning points based on the number of plastic bottles and aluminium cans deposited in Bee'ah's recyclables reverse vending machines as well as participating in environmental competitions and events through the online social community, www.myBeeah.ae."
Points can be used to avail of discounts and prizes from participating venues and outlets.
"Interested environmental loyalists can register their name and details on the website, www.mybeeah.ae, starting today and they will be notified via e-mail of the details of the loyalty programme, how to get their cards issued, and the benefits they can receive as a member," said Al Huraimel.
How Earth Day dawned
Gaylord Nelson, a US senator from Wisconsin, formed the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, after observing a horrific, 1969 oil spill in California, Earth Day officials said.
Twenty million Americans stepped out into the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies, the organisation said.
"Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labour leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts," the organisation said.
"It was a gamble," Gaylord recalled, "but it worked."