http://www.envirobank.com.au Australia is known for its vibrant cities, spectacular views and natural beauty. While -- as a nation -- we are proud of our land, there is one constant battle we face: rubbish.
Every year approximately 116,000 tonnes of material that could be recycled ends up as landfill -- and it's mainly down to people not understanding what can be recycled and what can't.
Australians are getting better and better at recycling at home and that's mainly due to education through various councils, but we still haven't got it right away from home and 2.6 billion containers that make their way to landfill each year definitely says that we're not getting it right.
But that confusion is about to be quashed with the Envirobank -- an innovative, reverse-vending recycling machine that is being installed at 7-Eleven stores across New South Wales and Victoria; and now thanks to the people of Envirobank Recycling, being green pays.
Narelle Anderson, Founder and Managing Director of Envirobank Recycling says "The Envirobank machines offer rewards for recycling and because the reward is instant, that helps to change people's behaviours. They get an instant reward for doing the right thing."
Warren Wilmot, 7-Eleven CEO says: "We're very much behind it because it is just such a neat little program. I think it rewards the people that are recycling on-site. We've been into recycling in all our stores for a long, long time -- especially around cardboard. I think this is a way to really start to conquer the PET bottles and the plastics with Slurpee and those sorts of things as well."
To put the importance of recycling into perspective for you, take this aluminium can: it could take up to 200 years to break down; while this plastic bottle could take up to 450 years. Now you multiply that by the amout of soft drink we consume and that's a lot for the environment to take. Well now, thanks to machines like the Envirobank we can all do our part.
So how easy is it for people to actually use?
Narelle says "It's very easy to use, in fact it's as easy as 1, 2, 3. All you need to do is pop your container (your aluminium can or PET bottle) into the machine, press the green button and the screen will change and you select your reward, a ticket will dispense and you'll go in store and redeem that reward or collect your prize."
An Envirobank recycler says "I think they are a really good idea. I think it's a really great way to encourage people to recycle because they are helping the environment, but they also get prizes for it which is really good."
Another Envirobank recycler says "This is the first time I've used the machine and I just walked home with a chocolate bar!"
Guado Lado, Waste Education Officer from Randwick City Council says "It just reinforces what you can recycle as well, so they take it back home and recycle the same things."
Cr Murray Matson, Mayor of Randwick says "People are probably not aware of it but there is a waste crisis at the moment. Everything we can divert from the local community back into re-use or recycling is a big win for the local ratepayers."
This initiative has already been proven a success overseas with 90,000 machines currently in use in Europe. It's now hoped Australians will also embrace the concept.
The Mayor continues: "I'd say it's new, it's exciting. Get in on the ground floor of a way of recycling the waste stream."
Warren comments: "I'm hoping kids will both want to embrace it, but also embrace it just purely because there's a return to them directly in what they're actually doing."
Narelle concludes: "It not only pays by offering them a reward or incentive, but it saves the environment as well."
[How to recycle]