Beijing Subway's latest eco-friendly move: exchange your plastic bottles for money

As early as next Monday, Beijing subway travellers will be able to experience the latest installment in Station Shaoyaoju and Jinsong on Line 10 which will enable them to recycle their plastic bottles for money. The money could either go into their public transit cards or be donated. 

This big recycler is very easy to use and will significantly contribute to the environmental protection in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua

Two Plastic Bottle Recyclers will be put to use in each of the said stations for the trial run before more of these intelligent machines will be installed in all the stations in the subway, bus stops, communities, schools and the capital airport.

Standing at 1.9 meters high with a look rather similar to a vending machine, the recycler is able to store about 400 crushed plastic bottles. The recycling process is very simple. Touch the “throw bottle” button on the screen and put in the bottle, the machine will begin to scan the bottle’s bar codes. Bottles bought from illegal venders won’t be recognized and accepted. Once the identity of the bottle is confirmed, it will be weighed. Only empty ones get crushed. All these are done within 20 seconds. 

Then three more buttons will appear on the touch screen: Donate, Donate & Win Lottery and Recharge Card, which will give you three choices with the money you get from the bottle: 5 fen (cent) for a 300ml plastic bottle, 1 jiao (10 cents) for bottles 500ml and bigger as well as ring-pull cans. The biggest bottle that could be accepted is the 1.2L ones.

This recycler is the first of its kind in China which combines the IOT (Internet of things) technology and the resources recycling system. Its developer, Beijing Yingchuang recycling Co. Ltd. is the first company that fully recycles polyester drinking bottles. Every year about 1.6 billion such bottles get recycled through the company, which saves about 300,000 tons of petrol.

Back at the headquarters of the company, data from each individual machine is collected through IOT, which will be used to determine the ranking of the top ten brands of the recycled bottles. A big thumb-up for this eco-friendly move! Everyone should take part in saving our fragile environment.

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