Grab Malaysia has launched 18 AI-driven Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) in specific strategic locations across the Klang Valley.
This is in partnership with industry leaders KLEAN, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) and Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI).
Recycle and redeem vouchers
This collaboration is part of an experimental Grab project that seeks to drive sustainable change. It aims to encourage recycling among Grab’s customers and support Grab’s commitment to achieve zero packaging waste in nature by 2040.
“We recognise that food packaging waste is an inherent by-product of our food delivery platform. Change has to happen throughout the value chain, and we are committed to proactively seeking and developing sustainable, inclusive answers,” said Adelene Foo, Managing Director, Grab Malaysia.
“From a consumer standpoint, contributing is simple: deposit rinsed plastic food containers, scan the RVMs’ QR code, and redeem vouchers using collected KLEAN points,” she added.
“In line with the Malaysia Plastics Sustainability Roadmap 2021-2030, we’re committed to promoting alternatives and sustainable substances in plastic production. The RVMs introduced through this collaborative effort not only aligns with our roadmap’s goal but also provides an avenue for both businesses and consumers to realise the desired change,” said Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change.
Encourage greater recycling of plastic waste
This pilot project of Grab’s is set to run for about six months. Each of the 18 RVMs will be ready and waiting to accept plastic food containers. This is in addition to aluminium cans and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles that are more commonly collected for recycling.
The deposited items will be collected by Asasrama Sdn Bhd, a certified processor. The company recycles them into raw materials such as new PP and PET pallets/flakes. This gives them a second-life by turning them into new products including apparels, furniture fillings and plastic furniture/boxes.
“With rising popularity of food and grocery deliveries, it is essential that we find ways to enable greater recycling of plastic waste. The RVMs borne through this partnership will be able to accept rinsed plastic food containers and turn them into reusable materials,” said Joey Azman, Co-Founder of KLEAN.
“The partnership with GRAB Malaysia, KLEAN and MRANTI is an opportune time for us as part of our strategy to continue working closely with partners in the public and private sector on environmental initiatives,” said Karen Tan, F&N’s Director of Communications, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability.
“With AI being the backbone for the operation of each RVM, it is important that we cultivate partnerships that contribute towards building a thriving community,” elaborated Datuk Wira Dr. Rais Hussin, MRANTI’s Chief Executive Officer.
Zero Packaging Waste to Nature by 2040
Grab’s collaboration with KLEAN, F&N and MRANTI is part of Grab’s 4-lever approach. The aim is to achieve Zero Packaging Waste to Nature by 2040.
The pilot project can be viewed as an extension of efforts that began in 2019 to reduce single-use plastics. That started by offering consumers the option to exclude single-use cutlery from their food delivery orders.
Since then, Grab has saved more than 23,800 tonnes of waste. This translates to 898 million sets of cutlery weighing 8,088 tonnes in 2022 alone.