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Watsons Water, one of Hong Kong’s biggest producer and distributor of distilled bottled drinking water, has launched a cash incentive to get the public actively involved in recycling single-use plastics. Offering monetary vouchers and gift redemptions via their Drops of Fun app, the Tai Po-based company is placing 400 reverse vending machines throughout the city that can collect up to 1,000 bottles of all brands, allowing anyone to return bottles of up to 4.5 liters in size. In addition, the company will initiate 100 refilling dispensary machines during a six-month trial period where consumers can purchase 100 milliliters of water for HKD 1.
“We are not trying to make this a business project,” A.S. Watson Managing Director Michelle Chan Wen-mee said in a statement to the SCMP. “Everyone has a responsibility to recycle, which is why we are not singling out brands. All are welcome, however, we are starting with water bottles only.”
Those who register for membership will be able to participate and redeem points in the rewards program – specifically for designated Watsons Water and specific Mr. Juicy products. For each approved water bottle, members can accumulate annual points for exclusive gifts, discounts at shopping and dining destinations, entertainment and event happenings, or travel rebates. It’s worth noting that while all other single-use bottled water brands will be accepted into the reverse vending machines, they will not accrue any points.
Taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint, Watsons Water began distributing rPET water bottles made from 100% recycled materials in 2016. With a five-year plan to recover up to 50% of single-use plastic bottles under their Go Green project, the century-old company aims to reach its 100% target by 2029. Considering that Hong Kong is the biggest exporter of plastic waste, at 56.1 million tons, the corporate social responsibility of Watsons Water comes at a dire time on our war on plastic pollution. With almost all of Hong Kong’s remaining three landfills expected to be at maximum capacity by next year, plastic waste is the third-largest solid waste disposal, according to a 2016 report from the Environmental Protection Department.
Read our complete Green Queen Guide on how to break up with single-use plastics
Lead image courtesy of Watson Water .