Vending.com - Vending technology is transforming the food industry

Vending technology is transforming the food industry

Introduction

Vending machines have been serving food products to consumers for more than a century. Today, more than $30 billion worth of food and beverages are bought from vending machines all over the country each year. They form an integral part of the food supply chain.

Like all electrical and electronic equipment, vending machines are embracing the growth of technology. Cloud computing, the Internet of Things, Electronic Payment Interfaces, and Graphical Human-Machine Interfaces are some examples of the latest technology used in modern vending machines. Such pieces of technology have created new possibilities in unmanned food retail. They have improved efficiencies, reduced waste, enhanced accountability and delivered novel experiences for the end-user. Let us explore how technology in vending is revolutionizing the food industry and its trends.

Vending in the Food Industry

Thomas Adams installed machines selling sugar-coated chewing gum balls in New York in the late 19th century. Vending machines have since played a significant role in food industry trends. Today they sell everything from packaged potato chips to freshly cooked pizza. Disregarding a few fringe variants, the majority of food products that flow through the vending channel are of four broad types:

Snacks and Beverages – This is the largest contributor to the share of food products sold through vending machines in the United States. It includes cold beverages (23%), packaged snacks (15.5%), and candy & confectionery (18.3%). This amounts to about $17.6 billion in annual sales in the U.S. They are mostly convenience sales and impulse purchases.

Frozen Food & Cold Storage Products – This category is the second-largest by sales. It consists of ice cream (1.9%), frozen food (5.3%), and Healthy & Fresh Food (8.2%). Such products usually have a short shelf life. Hence the vending machines selling them are limited to specific areas like grocery stores, micro-markets or other sites where consumers come to buy food supplies. Together, they contribute to about $4.9 billion in annual sales in the U.S.

Hot Beverages – The hot beverage vending took a tremendous beating during the COVID-19 pandemic and the following lockdown measures of several state governments. But since 2021, the industry has been bouncing back hard. Today, hot beverage vending machines contribute to approximately 3.8% of total sales, equaling about $1.2 billion annually.

Others – All other categories have been grouped into this category. This includes fresh pizzas, hot food, soup, ready meat, and french fries. This segment contributes to $4.2 billion in annual sales in the U.S. Some reports claim that this is the fastest-growing of all categories of food sold through vending machines.

Benefits of Vending Technology for the Food Industry

There are several participants in the food industry. Some of them are a part of the food products’ value stream. They participate in the production, logistics and consumption of food. This includes the business that produces and packages food, catering or food services providers, wholesalers and retailers. When vending machines are involved in the process, there are more participants. They are vending machine operators, owners of locations where the vending machines are placed and sources of food products.

Economic Value Added for all Stakeholders: The sale of food products through vending machines creates revenue for vending machine operators and location owners. Considering that a massive part of the sales on vending machines are discretionary and impulse purchases, they increase the total sales volume in the food industry. This helps all the participants in this industry grow their revenue.

Vending in Food Security: It is estimated that about 3.1 million Americans suffer from acute food insecurity. A big part of it is because of food deserts. This is a crisis driven by the lack of accessibility to food where it is required. Vending machines can become satellite stores for store owners, which can be replenished regularly. This helps extend the range of service of the grocery or departmental stores without having to incur expensive capital. The latest vending machines have onboard or cloud-enabled inventory management software. This helps the store owners to track consumption and replace the stock in these remotely installed machines without having to visit them for frequent inspection. When all impediments are removed, store owners are motivated to install more vending machines that give access to processed and fresh food. This can help improve food security by providing convenient access to essential nutrition anywhere and anytime.

Vending for Sustainability: As discussed earlier, vending machines with inventory management help track food consumption. Owners can now stock the right amount of food in their machines by monitoring stock levels. This minimizes food waste.

Moreover, new-age machines use energy-efficient cooling systems like R290-based refrigeration units. They are easier to deploy than replacing large cooling units of big stores or markets. This makes vending machines an energy-efficient supplement to stores wherever possible.

Dealing with catastrophic disruptions: If there is anything that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us in 2020 and 2021, we depend on a fragile supply chain for our daily needs. The world is still reeling from its after-effects. Vending machines can help address the last-mile supply chain issues by providing contactless access to essential food supplies. Some machines have inherent UV-based irradiation to sanitize machine interfaces and supplies.

Emerging Technology in Food Vending

Recent advances in electronics, software and computing have revolutionized the vending industry. The benefits of this technological progress have had a positive impact on the food industry and its trends. Some of them are discussed below.

Contamination Prevention: UV sanitization has helped vending machines not only sanitize the touchpoints where consumers interact with them. They now can sanitize the merchandise they sell. UVend Technology makes high-touch machine surfaces safer by destroying or inactivating some of the most common viruses, bacteria, and highly beneficial during COVID-19.

Hot Food Vending: Energy-efficient heating systems combined with precision robotics have helped turn vending machines into kitchens. This is expected to widen the range of products and services offered through vending machines.

Sustainability & Eco-Friendliness: Modern cooling systems, prevention of waste using inventory management platforms and other environmentally responsible features make vending machines a compelling retail channel in food industry trends.

Conclusion:

The food industry has been one of the earliest beneficiaries of vending technology. All stakeholders in the food industry benefit from the use of vending machines as a channel for last-mile retail. The recent developments in technology have only enhanced the benefits of vending machines.

Vending.com has been a part of the vending industry for over 90 years. Strong investments in research and development on cutting-edge technology have helped Vending.com set the pace for innovations in the vending industry. If you are looking to set up a vending business or grow your current vending business, talk to us at 1-855-929-1042 or visit our website.

Vending.com - Growing Your Small and Medium Business With Vending Machines

Growing Your Small and Medium Business With Vending Machines

There are various benefits to owning and managing a vending machine business. Being your own CEO and creating your own schedule without depending on anybody else could help you maximize profits. Once an individual starts a vending business and becomes successful, they will want to expand it in order to increase their income and enjoy the profits.

Vending machines sell everything from beverages to chocolate, candies, and gourmet snacks. These machines can be found almost anywhere, including the workplace, travel destinations, or other public gathering locations. The National Automatic Merchandising Association reports that 18% of vending machine operators make between $1 and $4 million per year. At present, it is a $42 billion sector that could be pretty successful for anyone looking to expand their own company. 

Whether you have a vending machine business or you want to start one to help grow your small business, here are some pointers to assist you in expanding:

  • Amp up existing products: Increasing the quantity of vending machines is a good idea. Finding out what items will complement your current developments is a good start. Suppose you already have vending machines that sell hot meals or snacks. In that case, it’s a great idea to add vending machines that sell cold beverages. Consider things from the users’ perspective and you’ll come up with a slew of brilliant ideas. 
  • Upgrade your vending machines: Vending machines have incredible technological developments. Purchase the latest vending equipment from Vending.com that has the most vending machine models for snacks, cold drinks, refrigerated and frozen food, coffee and other hot beverages. All products are equipped with enhanced technology, such as touch screens and cashless solutions, to attract even more customers and everything you need to start, expand, or manage your vending business.

Many users prefer cashless vending machines. Installing vending machines in strategic locations is a brilliant idea. When you purchase a vending machine from Vending.com, you can be confident that you are in safe hands. Vending.com offers a trustworthy business concept to help you create your own vending business or to employ machines to help grow your small business, with over 90 years of expertise in the vending industry.

  • Consider Proper Service and Maintenance: To enhance your revenue, keep your machines in perfect condition. Machines must always be cleaned and stocked with supplies, and, depending on your location, they should be refilled twice a week. To avoid losing potential buyers, you must also check that the machine is in good operating condition. When you buy vending machines from Vending.com, you get the prompt maintenance support and technical experience to keep your vending machines running smoothly. Its well-stocked parts department can ship components anywhere around the world quickly and reliably.
  • Change locations: In addition to improving existing vending machines, look for new places where vending machines can be installed. Your search should be completely objective, taking into account customers’ demands and purchase patterns. You may come across areas with many passers-by, but if they don’t buy, your investment and upkeep costs will go down the drain. 
  • Choose Appropriate Locations: Like any other retail business, a vending machine’s location is critical to its success. Locations should correspond to the things you offer. The products you choose should be appropriate for your location and traffic. Even the most popular products may not sell in a crowded place if the target market is not relevant.

If you find an opportune location, but notice a vending machine is already there, do not fret. Get a feel from the location manager about their vending service. Are they satisfied with the service? Is the current machine outdated? What can you offer that they are not receiving from their current vending operator?

  • Increase the Machine Lineup: Once your vending machine business is up and running, expand your inventory and supplies to match client demand. You might also want to purchase a new machine but ensure you use your profits for purchase. However, if you want to save money for the future, you may procure a used vending machine from Vending.com.
  • Enhance Your Product Variety: You will not get your desired results with only a few candy or soft drink selections. You must provide a wide range of products. Customers will flock to you once you begin supplying the products they truly crave.
  • Make the Most Out of Advertisements:  Advertising is a fantastic strategy to inform potential clients about your vending business. You will not gain the profit expected if your target clients are unaware of your vending machine and the products available.
  • Make the most of your advertisements by incorporating visuals of vending machines and details regarding their locations. Vending.com can help you create a custom vending machine graphics or wrap that is unique to your company and location. Customers can directly collaborate with the marketing team to design, print, and install a customized graphic or advertise on the touchscreen that will help significantly boost profit.
  • Secure Referrals: If you want to grow your small business or your standalone vending machine business, make sure you deliver exceptional service. Regular consumers are more inclined to recommend your services to others. Word-of-mouth is the most effective and efficient form of advertising.

 

The Bottom Line

You want to grow your small business and boost your profits as an entrepreneur. It is only feasible if your approach is objective and logical. Always consider the user’s viewpoint so that you can provide them with what they demand. Having an eye on the latest trends and developments lets you upgrade your vending machines periodically.

Scaling up, however, does not determine the success of the vending machine. You must make improvements to match your customers’ cravings. The vending machine business offers excellent earning potential. Still, to achieve that potential, you must follow best practices.

For additional information, give Vending.com a call at 1-800-548-1982.

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How to Find Locations for Your Vending Equipment

A common question asked by new people getting into the vending business is, “How do I find the best location for my vending machines?” Some new vendors will get permission to place their machine(s) at places such as their own place of business, a relative or a friend’s business or a business where you know the owner. To assist further, we have listed below a number of businesses to consider when placing your machines. Keep in mind, you are not asking the business owner to buy anything. You are providing a FREE service to them, their employees and their customers!

Start small, one machine at a time

Local businesses with 30-50 employees and businesses with a good number of walk-in customers are good places to start. Choose businesses in your area close to your house. A short driving distance from home is ideal.

Tell them about your “Free” Vending Service

Ask for the manager or owner and ask if you can place one of your new Express Combo drink and snack machines in their business at no cost to them. We recommend you dress professionally and take a brochure about the Express Combo to each location. Be sure to let the business know that you will keep your machine filled with all the top brand products including some healthy selections at standard product pricing.

Replacing old machines with the new Express Combo Vending Machines

A good number of businesses will already have old, outdated vending machines. The odds are high that their current vending machine(s) do not accept credit/debit cards and do not have the guaranteed product delivery feature. The Express Combo, however, has all of these features! It is not too difficult to convince a business that you have a better vending program to service their employees and customers.

List of Locations

Here is a list of possible locations where vending machines can be placed:

  • Amusement park
  • Apartment building
  • Assisted living center
  • Auto brake shop
  • Auto dealership
  • Bank
  • Bookstore
  • Bowling alley
  • Bus station
  • Business office building
  • Car wash
  • Community center
  • Community swimming pool
  • Computer store
  • Dormitory
  • Driver’s license division
  • Dry cleaner
  • Fire station
  • Fraternity/sorority
  • Furniture store
  • Golf course lounge
  • Gym
  • Health club
  • Hotel
  • Humane society
  • Industrial park
  • Laundromat
  • Library
  • Manufacturing plan
  • Medical building
  • Meeting hall
  • Military Reserve/ Guard Center
  • Military Treatment Facility
  • Motel
  • Motor Vehicle Division
  • Motorcycle Shop
  • Muffler shop
  • Nursing Home/ Retirement Home
  • Oil & Lube Center
  • Police Station
  • Private School
  • Public Utility Office
  • Railroad Station
  • Recreation Center
  • Rental Yard
  • Roller Skating Rink
  • School
  • Senior Center
  • Shopping Center
  • Ski Resort
  • Stock Brokerage
  • Telemarketing Office
  • Tire Store
  • Tourist Attraction
  • Truck Stop
  • Trucking company
  • Veteran’s Affairs facility
  • Veterinary office
  • Waiting room (of any kind)
  • Warehouse
  • YMCA
  • Youth center
  • Zoo

Are you ready to get started finding locations for your vending machines? Contact Vending.com by calling 1-800-548-1982 today!

Prepare for Winter with UVend Technology

Are You Prepared for Winter?

The cold, winter months are going to be here before we know it. Not only does this mean colder weather, but it means that we will see an uptick in illness, whether it be a cold, the flu or COVID-19. Believe it or not, there is a lot that can be done with your vending equipment in winter to ensure your customers are satisfied. 

MarketOne Coffee Vending Machine

For many customers, the cold weather settling in means that they crave a hot beverage in order to keep them warm. Enter the new MarketOne Coffee Vending Machine. It features a European design and a state-of-the-art brewing system for customers to receive coffee shop-quality from a vending machine with the push of a button. Keep customers warm by giving them the option to choose from up to 34 hot beverage combination options of coffee, hot chocolate, tea, espresso and more.

UVend Technology

Give customers and employees the safer vending experience they have been craving with UVend Technology. UVend Technology, a patent-pending UVC light sanitization device, makes the high-touch surfaces of vending machines safer by quickly killing or inactivating up to 99.9% of some of the most common viruses and bacteria, including influenza and COVID-19. 

To provide an extra layer of protection, UVend Technology features an automated motion sensor and visible blue light. The motion sensor ensures no presence is detected in front of the machine before activating and the blue light indicates quick sanitization is in process, allowing the machine’s keypad and delivery door to be sanitized after almost every use.

Sani-Center Vending Machine

Vending.com’s Sani-Center PPE Vending Machine limits face-to-face interaction by safely dispensing cleaning supplies, medical masks, hand sanitizers, wipes and more to customers. It allows customers safe access to supplies they need while generating revenue for your business. One of the biggest Sani-Center benefits is the capability for customers to purchase items through a cashless card reader or mobile payment platform, further reducing direct contact with the vending machine.

Looking for more ways to give your customers an extra layer of protection during the winter months? Call 1-800-548-1982.

Frozen Food Month

March is Frozen Food Month, but at Vending.com, we celebrate frozen food everyday with our AB Frozen Food Vending Machine. With best-in-class energy efficiency, this merchandiser is the perfect machine to deliver frozen meals, sandwiches and desserts to your employees to help them power through a day at the office. 

The AB Frozen Food Vending Machine offers 28 standard items and has a capacity of up to 320 items. It has the capability to vend a variety of frozen packages including sandwiches, desserts and even entire meals. These frozen food options have the ability to provide employees with breakfast, lunch and snacks, so they can perform to the best of their abilities both personally and professionally.

Like many other machines offered by Vending.com, our AB Frozen Food Vending Machine comes with a variety of features in order to ensure employees and additional customers are fully satisfied. This merchandiser features next-generation airflow technology, as well as the latest in electronic controls. It comes fully equipped with iVend Guaranteed Technology, so your products will be delivered, or your customers will receive their money back.

The AB Frozen Food Vending Machine is fully Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ready. It also comes standard with a large keypad and Braille identified keys. This merchandiser ensures that your products are featured prominently with enhanced LED lighting. 

With this merchandiser, you have complete control over all sales and accounting. The AB Frozen Food Vending Machine has the capability to include the Greenlite Credit / Debit card reader, so you never miss out on sales. You will also have the capability to fully track every product like skincell sold, as well as the health of your machine. 

Keep your employees satisfied, full and focused, while celebrating Frozen Food Month with the AB Frozen Food Vending Machine. Read more about the various features of the AB Frozen Food Vending Machine and find out more about our other vending machines by calling us at 855-928-0626.

Placing Vending Machines Part: 2

In our blog on Vending Machine Placement, we discussed strategies for securing locations for your vending machines and how getting accounts is not about finding places without vending services as much as it is finding a location unhappy with their current vending service. When you do it’s important to come across as a better provider. It’s important not to be intimidated by big vending companies, because these companies can be the easiest to take locations from and how to get new customers for your business. In this blog we will detail how to efficiently use this vending machine strategy and other relevant tips for securing locations for your vending services.

Companies that get too big can have trouble or overlook details that smaller businesses are better equipped to handle. Sometimes large vending companies are staffed by part-time workers who do not care about customers and are just concerned with earning their hourly wage. Their route drivers may not really care about the appearance of equipment or satisfaction of the customer. Employees at big companies don’t have the same amount of investment in the business as workers at smaller companies. In contrast to a large vending conglomerate, your vending company can offer locations personalized service, easy accessibility to company ownership, quicker adaptability and more flexibility.

Placing Vending Machines Part

The following is an example of a script you could use when approaching a business owner about vending at their location. “Good morning, my name is John Smith, president of Smith Vending. How are you today? Great! I won’t take up too much of your time. I just want to drop off my card in case you need my vending services sometime. By the way, are you happy with the vending service you have now? Is there anything at all I can do for you?” Try to stay friendly and concise with you comments. Your goal should be to “test the waters” to see if they’re satisfied with their current vending operator and to let them know you are available to help them.

If the location communicates that they are satisfied with their current vending services, we advise thanking them for their time, leaving your business card and doing your best to make a positive impression of yourself and your company. The location also may communicate their displeasure with their current vending service. If they do this, we advise you to ask about why they are dissatisfied, how many machines do they have, what is sold and for how much. You don’t want to overwhelm them with questions, but you want to gain useful information that can help you communicate how your vending business is superior and how your smaller business cares about the details of their vending needs.

Working to secure locations does not have to be scary or intimidating. Presenting your business in a courteous, professional manner goes a long way in making a good impression. You may not find a location in your first handful of attempts, but keep going. Perseverance is an important part of your vending machine strategy. It will be worth it when you do find your first couple of locations. If you have any questions or need assistance for your vending business please give us a call at 1-855-661-3298.

40 Selection Snack Vending Machine

The Best and Biggest Selection of Vending Machine Options

When it comes to vending machines, the importance of offering the biggest and best selection of items to customers cannot be overstated enough. Vending machines are an important fixture in the daily lives of many – they’re often used for everything from a quick snack in between classes or meetings to a necessary cup of coffee first thing in the morning. If a vending machine doesn’t offer what a customer needs, however, they’ll begin to lose faith in it and will look elsewhere for what they desire. At that point, it’s hard to get them back again, which is why offering the largest selection isn’t just recommended, it’s practically a requirement.

Now, one vending machine manufacturer has proudly stepped up to the plate and answered that call: the 40 Selection Large Capacity Vending Machine is available to order now from Vending.com.

40 Selection Snack Vending Machine

The 40 Selection Snack Vending Machine is our biggest vending machine and was built from the ground up to be the perfect choice for high traffic, high volume locations. It doesn’t just offer a large number of different selections, it also breaks new ground in terms of variety. It has 15 snack selections, 18 candy and snack cracker selections, two gum and mint selections and five pastry selections, making sure that you have all of your bases covered and that your customers walk away satisfied each and every time.

The product itself features six flex trays, all of which are fully adjustable in one inch increments to better service your unique needs – even if those needs should happen to change on a regular basis. Our biggest vending machine also gives business owners the power to individually price selections in any way they see fit and is even re-configurable for product selection spacing or variable packaging sizes.

Powered by the revolutionary iVend Sensor System, the 40 Selection Snack Vending Machine features a large, lighted product display window and a customer interface that is almost impossibly easy to use with a large LED display and multiple money acceptance options.

Security

If the security of your vending machine is a concern, it doesn’t have to be any longer – the unit features sturdy steel construction with durable powder coat painted surfaces, creating the type of vending machine that will dutifully serve you for years to come. A high security package is also available for additional protection levels.

With variability, versatility and functionality like this, it’s easy to see why 40 Selection Snack Vending Machine single handedly offers the best vending machine selection on the market today.

Our Trimline Refreshment Center Offers the Best Snack and Drink Vending Machine Options

Trimline-Refreshment-CenterThe technology in vending machines has grown exponentially. Vending machines are used for a variety of purposes, which range from healthcare applications to traditional snacks and soda refreshments. Some of the latest technology includes mobile payment options and Apple Pay. However, simplicity can be more productive, and the Trimline Refreshment Center is designed to focus on simplicity.

A Traditional Soda Vending Machine

Do you recall the stories of your grandparents first experiences with vending machines? In many cases, vending machines may have contained few items, but the popularity was undeniable. The Trimline Refreshment Center Returns to the simplistic nature with six beverage selections, and business owners can decide between bottled or canned beverages, such as water, sodas, juices, and more. When filled, the Trimline Refreshment Center can hold up to 144 20-ounce bottles or 312 12-ounce cans. However, the Trimline Refreshment Center takes on another critical concern of vending machine owners, space.

Essentially, the Trimline Refreshment Center is made up of two paired machines, and the drink side weighs 467 pounds. A traditional soda vending machine may be up to 4 feet wide. Yet, the drink side of the Trimline Refreshment Center stands out at a mere 21 inches, which makes it easy to fit anywhere. Furthermore, the lightweight section of this refreshment center makes installation faster and easier than bulkier machines.

Redefining the Snack Vending Machine

Some snack machines can hold hundreds of different various items, but you’ve probably seen a few vending machines where a few items grow stale and don’t sell. This combo vending machine focuses on resolving this problem by simplifying the snack selection to 12 items.

Business owners can select 12 items to fill this machine to its capacity of 152 items. The snack section of the Trimline Refreshment Center offers an MDB coin acceptor and an MDB $1 and $5 bill acceptor. Similar to the drink section, the snack part of this machine is a mere 21-inches wide, which increases the machine’s maneuverability during installation or when moving the machine from one location to another.

With a versatile configuration for drinks, independent sections for snack and soda storage, and a simple, customer-driven selection, the Trimline Refreshment Center is sure to please the hunger and thirst of your customers. To find out more about combo vending machine options, contact the vending machine manufacturer directly at Vending.com, or request a quote on the Trimline Refreshment Center today.

Would Your Purchase a Drink From an Alcohol Vending Machine?

Vending MachineTexas has a standing reputation for promoting and starting some of the biggest ideas in the nation. Texan ideals often have roots in business and encouraging the growth of society; however, a recent proposal to introduce alcohol vending machines, as told by Eleanor Dearman, is causing a controversy in the Lone Star State. The idea of a drink vending machine is not uncommon, but an alcohol vending machine sounds difficult to control. To fully grasp how this would work and affect Texans, you must understand how the vending machines would function and how concerns over it would be addressed.

The Alcohol Vending Machine Functionality

Currently, clubs and bars check photo IDs at the door or when purchasing alcoholic beverages. In many cases, patrons are given a bracelet, which identifies minors from those above the alcohol-consuming age of 21-years-old. An alcohol vending machine would function on the premise of these bracelets. Those of legal drinking age would be given a bracelet by facility staff, which would allow them to obtain drinks from the vending machine. This ensures underage minors do not obtain alcohol from the machine. Furthermore, the machine would limit the number of drinks a person may obtain. For example, two drinks of liquor, 30-ounces of beer, or 10-ounces of wine. However, alcohol vending machines face much more criticism.

Potential Problems With an Alcohol Vending Machine

Although the facility staff will be responsible for issuing the bands allowing access to the alcohol vending machine, the problem of bracelet changing becomes an issue. What is to stop someone from obtaining a bracelet, which he or she then passes along to a minor? Immediately, this sounds like it will prevent alcohol vending machines from ever being installed. However, something similar occurs every day in alcohol-providing entities on the planet. Someone of legal drinking age could purchase a drink and provide it to a minor.

Additionally, bartenders and servers are expressing concern over the introduction of alcohol vending machines. These staff members make the majority of their living through tips, which the alcohol vending machine would essentially eliminate. Although the vending machine could not provide all of the drinks for an evening, it would cut down on the number of drinks poured by staff. Businesses face another challenge with the introduction of vending machines.

Some drinks may contain on a combination of five or more ingredients, and the alcohol vending machines do not currently have this capacity to produce such mixed drinks. Mixed drinks are extremely popular among college students, and the lack of mixed drinks could adversely affect a business’s profits for a single night of use.

As society has grown more comfortable with the idea of vending machine use across many industries, the alcohol industry stands on the edge of a new frontier. Only time will tell how the public responds to alcohol vending machines, and they may be an instant hit for those wanting a simple drink quickly. Will ordering drinks be as simple as pushing a button each time you go out in the future?

Battery Recycling Vending Machine a Great ‘Eco’ Idea

Concerns over protecting the environment and conservation efforts have grown remarkably in the past few years, and the topic of batteries remains high on this list. Unfortunately, society’s rapid reward and disposal mindset has led to a major problem concerning batteries. Batteries have the potential to decimate entire ecosystems, points out Emma Hutchings, since one tossed battery could contaminate up to 20-square-meters of soil. Fortunately, Hutchings revealed how Russia is partnering with local businesses and vending machine revolutionaries to address this problem.

Battery Recycling Vending Machine

In Moscow, a typical battery recycling center gathers about 1,000 batteries in a single month. Once the battery recycling vending machine, which allowed users to pay for items with used batteries, had been installed, the total number of batteries collected in this area soared to more than 8,000. This equates to 160,000-square-meters of ground space protected by simply installing this Think Blue Machine.

Items in the Machine

Now, many might argue that batteries are not a viable way to pay for goods, such as foods or drinks, due to the potential for cross-contamination. However, the battery recycling vending machine isn’t primarily for these items. For example, users could pay two batteries to get a stress ball, four batteries to get a bottle of water, or six batteries for an eco-friendly t-shirt. All of the items within the Think Blue Machine are selected for their ability to encourage more people to protect the environment and stay healthy, i.e. water instead of soda.

Future of Battery Recycling

Russia is responsible for the disposal of up to 15 million batteries annually, which equates to millions of cubic miles of toxic soil in dumping grounds. Volkswagen is no stranger to the battery industry; each vehicle uses a battery for starting the engine, except in electric vehicles. While society becomes more aware of the potential hazards for not properly disposing of batteries, eco vending machines like the Think Blue Machine could be the solution to much more than recycling single batteries. The machine could work like an exchange; providing new batteries in exchange for 10 used batteries. Ultimately, the battery manufacturer and the recycling organization make money in this way.

Although the Think Blue Machine was designed expressly for recycling batteries and encouraging eco-friendly thoughts among industrial cities, this could prove to be a venture to use across many other landscapes. The applications for a recycling vending machine could include aluminum cans, glass, plastics, and more. The only real question that remains is how will future generations want to pay for the things they want?

Sources:

https://www.psfk.com/2015/04/volkswagen-vending-machine-batteries-money-think-blue-campaign.html