Grab Malaysia has inked a deal with KLEAN and the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI) to find solutions that will recover and recycle single use plastic with reverse vending machines.
KLEAN reverse vending machines, which was launched in 2019 by JANZ Technologies collect aluminum cans and plastic bottles, sort on site, while registering users and rewarding them with virtual points. These collected items are then smelted back into aluminum in the case of cans and recycled into Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) pellets and fiber in the case of plastic bottles by recycling partners within the KLEAN ecosystem.
In a press release, Grab Malaysia said the partnership aims to encourage recycling and make it easier for consumers to contribute to a greener Malaysia. Through this partnership, Grab and KLEAN plan to roll-out AI driven reverse vending machines at specific locations, where users can easily send their recyclable food packaging waste. In addition Grab will leverage its platform to increase visibility, drive consumer participation and education efforts.
“We seek to protect the environment as it is crucial towards building resilient small businesses and strong communities that can thrive for generations to come. We will continue to collaborate with government bodies, corporate partners, and policy makers through various programmes, to tackle the challenge of climate change. Together we want to create a sustainable future and provide easy ways for our consumers to make greener choices in everyday decisions”, said Hassan Alsagoff, country marketing head of Grab Malaysia.
Meanwhile, MRANTI’s role is in providing integrated facilities for end-to-end research, development, commercialisation and innovation services to enhance the AI on the reverse vending machines. This will help accelerate the commercialisation of the product, said Grab.
Over the next few months, the partnership aims to look at developing more AI driven reverse vending machines, onboard more reward partners to its redemption platform, data collection and deploy the machines to various locations across the country for easier access.
According to Grab, the company has rolled out a series of initiatives to enable consumers to make greener choices in everyday decisions, such as a cutlery toggle for consumers to opt out of receiving single-use plastics, and a carbon offset feature for consumers to purchase carbon offsets for their Grab rides. This has contributed to the planting of over 42,000 trees regionally, offsetting more than 2,300 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions through carbon credits, and reducing the use of more than 774 million sets of single-use cutlery in 2021.
Joey Azman, co-founder and chief financial officer of KLEAN, said, “With rising popularity of food and grocery deliveries, it is essential that we find ways to enable greater recycling of plastic waste. Partnerships and initiatives from corporations such as Grab can help rally communities to adopt greener practices and contribute to positive change. We hope other companies will join us in our mission to increase recycling habits of consumers through KLEAN’s own digital version of a ‘container deposit scheme.”
Dzuleira Abu Bakar, MRANTI’s CEO, emphasised that MRANTI is set to bridge the gap between public and private sector collaboration by connecting problem statements (demand) with solutions (supply) and increasing private sector participation, either through market access, investment, advisory, consultation, or providing testing and prototyping facilities.