Should You Invest in Recycling Vending Machines?

Earlier this year, we introduced you to Loop Industries (LOOP), a publicly traded U.S. company that is a pure-play for investing in recycled plastics. Specifically, Loop has developed a process for upcycling waste plastic and polyester fiber into high-purity, food-grade polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the same material used in the plastic water bottles and other packaging that’s engulfing many Third World countries. One of the latest eye-popping stats is that humans buy one million plastic bottles a minute around the world, with most still ending up in landfills or swirling around in enormous plastic gyres in the ocean. But one person’s trash is another’s treasure, especially if your business model revolves around recycling vending machines.

What is a Recycling Vending Machine?

Recycling vending machines, or reverse vending machines (RVMs) as they’re often called, are pretty much what you might expect: They are machines where people can return empty beverage containers like bottles and cans for recycling. The machine often gives back a deposit or refund amount to the user in regions with container deposit laws. It does this by scanning the containers’ barcodes, materials or shapes, to identify the type of packaging in order to spit out the correct deposit refund. Typically,

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