Application of Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs): A Case Study in the UK

Peng, Zhiling (2016) Application of Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs): A Case Study in the UK. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Traditionally, recycling service is provided by the government as the public service which

includes kerbside collection, bring sites, household waste recycling centres and so forth.

However, in today’s world facing increasing pressure from the environment, the engagement

of business in recycling activities is desired. The development of technology has generated

various modern recycling solutions. These new solutions allow the improvement in recycling

effectiveness while enabling business to engage in the society’s recycling activities.

One of these new recycling solutions is reverse vending machine (RVM). Stojanov (2015)

defined this machine as ‘a device designed properly to identify and process empty beverage

containers and to provide a means for a deposit refund on returnable containers’. Nowadays,

there have been over 100,000 RVMs globally of which the most are in Europe and North

America (RVC, 2014c; Sumitomo Corporation, 2008). Meanwhile, RVM has been widely

considered as a simple, effective and cleaning recycling solution (Vending International, 2010).

As one of the most influential countries in the world, the UK is currently facing challenges in

improving its recycling performance. However, the UK still prefer traditional recycling

solutions while new solutions such as RVMs remain relatively unpopular in this country. This

paper will investigate the application of RVMs in the UK and try to explore the reasons of the

machine’s limited employment in this country.

In this paper, through case-based research, 28 UK RVM projects will firstly be presented aiming

to provide a general understanding of RVMs’ application status in the UK. Next, the paper

hypothesises that the reasons for RVM’s limited application derive from the impact of Deposit

Refund System (DRS), awareness of RVM’s benefits, the impact of the public’s recycling

attitudes and behaviours, the impact of the UK RVM projects’ operational practices, the impact

of the UK’s recyclables market condition. Comparison with other countries where RVMs are

more popular will be made. It is important to note that this paper does not attempt to reach a

solid conclusion but to offer a starting point for future research.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Peng, Zhiling
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2017 13:32
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 16:56

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