Ireland's First Reverse Vending Machine Opens Today

The country's first 'reverse' vending machine goes into operation today, helping the environmental fightback one plastic bottle at a time.

The device aims to incentivise people to stop littering and recycle instead.

Monaghan is the new home to Ireland's first reverse vending machine – an appliance which allows people to return empty beverage containers like bottles and cans to be recycled for a cash payout. 

Many cities across Europe, Australia and China have adopted them, but Market Square Shopping Centre, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan is the first town in Ireland to get one.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, local Tidy Towns committee member Brenda McGuigan said that if the initiative is successful, she hopes it can be rolled out across the country.

She said to ensure only plastic goes into the machine, it is pre-programmed to recognise hundreds of barcodes from different water and soft drink brands.

It can then hold around 1,000 bottles before needing to be emptied, sending an electronic message when it is almost full.

Located in the lobby of the town's SuperValu, the machine will pay a voucher worth 10c for each plastic bottle deposited, which is redeemable against purchases in the local supermarket. 

Brenda continued by saying that the process will be a "full 360", explaining that plastics will be processed and re-made into packaging locally.

Carrickmacross Tidy Towns volunteers who are managing the initiative will be in charge of emptying the machine and storing the bottles until Monaghan-based plastics company Shabra collects them for recycling.

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