Retailer Pick and Pay has launched a new way to make a difference to the environment. Vernon Pillay
CAPE TOWN - Retailer Pick and Pay has launched a new way to make a difference too the environment. 

The company has partnered with  V&A Waterfront to help fight plastic and other waste from ending up in our oceans.

The company is using incentives in the new project to get its customers to help in the fight. 

The trial project, which is set to run from 1 November to 28 February 2018, consists of two reverse vending machines into which visitors can throw their discarded waste for recycling.

The machines will accept all recyclable waste products that carry a barcode, such as plastic bottles, cans, coffee cup lids, tetra packs, fruit juice containers and glass bottles. 

The machines will be positioned on the ground level of the Victoria and Alfred Wharf Shopping Centre at the Pick n Pay and Breakwater lobby areas. 

Each machine will have a smaller waste bin next to it for non-barcoded waste.

Using the machines

To use the reverse recycling machines, simply follow the prompts for the four easy steps.

The machines have been programmed to accept commonly used products that can be recycled in South Africa, and recognise these products by their barcodes.

Should the machine not recognise a barcode, it will be returned. Consumers are asked to then discard the product in the waste bin positioned next to each machine. 

Every day, the barcodes of products in the waste bin will be sent to Imagined Earth where they will be researched. Should the packaging of that product be found to be recyclable, the machines will be programmed to accept the new barcode in the future. The consumer who tried to recycle the product will be notified of this fact via SMS.

Depending on the size of the packaging waste deposited, each machine has a capacity to carry between 650 and 750 units. That equates to roughly 1000 200ml soft drinks cans or 350 to 400 2L bottles. 

The reverse vending machine monitors the holding capacity and notifies the collection team when it needs to be emptied, ensuring the operation runs smoothly and efficiently. The packaging waste is then sorted offsite for the different recycling processes.

At the end of the three month trial period, the barcoded data collected by the machines will be used to analyse the volume and type of waste that is being discarded. 


If you recycled your trash more than three times in a month (with a maximum of one visit per day), you will automatically be entered into a draw and stand the chance to win a Pick n Pay reusable RPET bag. 

Fifty bags will be given away each month, the company said.

Users identify themselves by entering their cell phone details at the time they deposit their waste product into the recycling machine. Their number will also be entered into lucky draws for other prizes. 

Users will need to be registered in order to claim these prizes. 

Recyclers also stand a chance of winning a R200 voucher every week, redeemable at the Pick n Pay Waterfront store. 

Winners will receive an SMS notification and simply need to show this to the store manager. At the end of the trial project, all recyclers who have deposited waste six or more times will be entered into a final lucky draw for a R5 000 grand prize.