RECAPP, Veolia’s digital recycling solution for individuals and businesses has launched a new recycling deposit initiative and rewards scheme for implementing reverse vending machines (RVMs) in partnership with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and smart deposit machines (RSDMs) to increase the recycling reflex and boost the circular economy in the UAE.
The new digital solution comes as a complementary service to RECAPP’s existing free app-based door-to-door collection service, where RVMs will be used to collect bottles and the RSDMs to collect bags of recyclables and is in line with Veolia’s strategic vision to offer holistic digital recycling solutions that benefit both people and the planet.
In Abu Dhabi, RECAPP partners with Masdar City and will implement the first Deposit Return System with a reward scheme (DRS) in the UAE. These Smart Deposit Machines (RSDMs) will allow RECAPP to collect an additional 20 million bottles and reinforce the UAE Government’s target of recovering 50% of single-use plastic bottles.
At the same time in Dubai, RECAPP has officially launched its first RVM connected to the app and offering a lot of rewards. The reveal took place at SALT restaurant in Kite Beach on 5th June 2023, which also marked World Environment Day, whose theme this year is to beat plastic pollution.
Jérôme Viricel, General Manager of RECAPP at Veolia Near & Middle East, said: “We are thrilled to launch the next exciting chapter of RECAPP with the implementation of reverse vending machines and smart deposit machines in partnership with the Government of Abu Dhabi - Environment Agency, several brands and communities. Deploying this advanced bottle recovery infrastructure and setting up a deposit scheme that rewards recycling stems from our strong commitment to promoting a circular economy and sustainable consumption patterns that reduce environmental stress. We are confident that this new digital solution from Veolia will not only make it more convenient and accessible for individuals to dispose of their waste responsibly but also provide new momentum to the culture of recycling across the UAE as it celebrates the Year of Sustainability.”
Commenting on the initiative, Sheikha Al Mazrouei, Executive Director of Integrated Environment Policy and Planning Sector at EAD said: “As the largest environmental regulator in the Middle East, EAD is delighted to partner with Veolia in implementing this rewarding project by RECAPP. This initiative is very much in line with Abu Dhabi’s Single-Use Plastic Policy which was launched in 2020 and an extension of the Agency’s ‘Mission to Zero’ public facing outreach campaign which aspires for the ambitious target of zero plastic, zero waste, zero emissions and zero harm to biodiversity. The campaign is composed of activations and advertising to engage the community to inspire a culture of recycling. Such initiatives play a critical role in generating public awareness on the importance of recycling single-use water bottles as a means to prevent them from entering the environment and harming it for a sustainable future for all. This partnership is a key milestone of the implementation of our umbrella policy which strives to reduce the reliance on single-use plastic items of which bottles are an example. To complement the RVMs we will be launching an awareness campaign to generate interest from the community so they actually collect the bottles and make them available to be recycled. To support the success of such a project, EAD has engaged key stakeholders such as large retailers, major attraction sites, real estate developers, among others. The Agency has also invited private sector packaging entities to ensure higher volume of bottle recovery in the emirate.”
The RVMs provide an instant recycling solution and can recycle all types of plastic water and beverage bottles and cans. They work by recycling bottle by bottle and can be placed indoors or outdoors in high-traffic locations. All RVMs are connected to the RECAPP app and reward users with 150 points per recycled bottle which is 8 times more compared to the Door to Door incentive!
The RSDMs enable users to drop off their full bag of recyclables at convenient outdoor locations such as communities, supermarket parking lots, or petrol stations. The RSDMs are connected to the RECAPP app and reward users with 1500 points per 1 kg of recyclables deposited. RECAPP app users can redeem the points earned from RVMs and RSDMs against attractive vouchers from a wide variety of top brands – including groceries, fashion, and e-commerce.
RECAPP was launched by Veolia Near & Middle East, the benchmark company for ecological transformation, in November 2020 as the first recycling app in the UAE. It has now transformed into a holistic digital recycling solution for individuals and businesses, employing third-party carriers to collect several categories of small waste streams that are often poorly managed.
Over the years, RECAPP has grown into a community of 55,000 users, collecting more than 1,000 tonnes of recyclables, including 34 million PET plastic bottles, 1 million of PET trays, 1 million aluminium cans, 1.5 million metal tins, and 1.8 million of home care and personal care containers. It has rewarded users with 65,000 vouchers, built a portfolio of 18 reward partners, and helped reduce CO2 emissions by 2,100 tonnes.