RiVending: new life for coffee cups and stirrers
RiVending: new life for coffee cups and stirrers

CONFIDA (Italian Vending Association) has promoted, together with COREPLA (National Consortium for the Collection and Recovery of Plastic Packaging) and UNIONPLAST (National Union of Plastic Transformers Industries – Federation of Plastic Rubber), the RiVending project, a “closed cycle” for the recovery and recycling of plastic cups and stirrers for vending machines in compliance with the requirements of the European Union with a view to an efficient circular economy.

How does RiVending work?

A special container is placed next to the vending machine where you can throw plastic cups and stirrers after use. The lid of the container has holes as large as the diameter of the glasses, as well as a hole for the stirrers. Rigid tubes present inside and attached to the lid accompany the falling of the glasses, favoring their stacking one inside the other. The volume of glasses collected in the same bag decreases by more than 150% compared to the collection in generic plastic.

The RiVending container has inside a bag of a different color from those of the rest of the waste collection and is collected by the same company that manages the waste. After a simple selection of the bags, they are delivered directly. to COREPLA which sends them to recycling.

Vending cups and stirrers are both made of a single type of plastic (compact polystyrene) and are easily washable. The residues of coffee, milk, tea or similar beverages are in fact liquids that can be easily eliminated, without any danger of contamination. After that, mechanical recycling will bring them back to being plastic flakes or granules that will be reintroduced into production.

Rivending makes it possible to simplify and make the material recycling process efficient, in fact a plastic of the highest quality and value is recovered upstream of the process, avoiding the costly and dispersive steps of separation from other plastics and industrial washing.

The final goal of the project, however, is to transform the used glass into a new glass, thus creating an efficient circular economy in the sector.

RiVending is a “zero waste” project because the plastic used is entirely recycled and reintroduced into the production cycle of new products.