Macedonian packaging recovery organization Pakomak is already working on an innovative solution called SmartBin – a reverse vending machine that will operate as part of ecoMac – an incentive system that rewards people who will throw their PET bottles, alu cans etc. in the machine through free services, discounts and other benefits.
Citizens of this country will be able to throw packaging waste through SmartBin, and tying the machine to a mobile app will allow them to get “green points” that they can use to their advantage for public service discounts, commercial promotions, tickets for events etc. The difference from the standard deposit system is that this system is a deposit without deposit. This implies that instead of money the machine will give back green points through the loyalty program. The advantage of this system is that retail prices of the products will not rise due to the deposit and it will not need to be implemented nationally, but instead it can be implemented regionally, city by city, municipality by municipality.
This is the first project of its kind on the territory of Northern Macedonia and it is a revolutionary step in waste collection and recycling practices in Northern Macedonia and in the region.
The average citizen of Northern Macedonia generates about 50-70kg of packaging waste annually. Using technology, Pakomak has set itself the goal of motivating citizens to participate actively in the process of selecting and disposing of waste, thereby reducing environmental pollution. Implementing a system of reverse vending machines creates benefits for everyone – citizens, who are going to have access to an easier way of selecting waste; the country, which in time will receive a greater number of environmentally educated citizens; and Pakomak, which will have easier and more organized access to packaging waste.