Grab Malaysia has announced a partnership with KLEAN and the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI), that will look at solutions that will responsibly recover and recycle single-use plastic with Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs).
In a statement, Grab said it hopes this partnership will help encourage recycling and make it easier for consumers to contribute to a greener Malaysia. This new initiative is another important step as the company continues to scale up its environmental sustainability efforts, as part of its commitment to a triple bottom line.
Through this partnership, Grab and KLEAN plan to roll-out AI-driven Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs), at specific locations, where users can easily send their recyclable food packaging waste. In addition, Grab will leverage its platform to increase visibility, and drive consumer participation and education efforts.
MRANTI’s role in providing integrated facilities for end-to-end research, development, commercialisation and innovation (R&D&C&I) services will assist in the enhancement of the AI on the RVMs, and will help accelerate the commercialisation of the product.
“We seek to protect the environment as it is crucial towards building resilient small businesses and strong communities that can thrive for generations to come. We will continue to collaborate with government bodies, corporate partners, and policymakers through various programmes, to tackle the challenge of climate change. Together we want to create a sustainable future and provide easy ways for our consumers to make greener choices in everyday decisions”, said Hassan Alsagoff, country marketing head of Grab Malaysia.
The collaboration with KLEAN and MRANTI underlines the company’s commitment to transition from a double bottom line to a triple bottom line, taking into account the importance of the environment and its impact on the communities. The company has rolled out a series of initiatives to enable consumers to make greener choices in everyday decisions, such as a cutlery toggle for consumers to opt-out of receiving single-use plastics, and a carbon offset feature for consumers to purchase carbon offsets for their Grab rides.
This has contributed to the planting of over 42,000 trees regionally, offsetting more than 2,300 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions through carbon credits and reducing the use of more than 774 million sets of single-use cutlery in 2021.
Echoing Grab’s sentiment, Joey Azman, co-founder and chief financial officer of KLEAN, said that “We applaud Grab Malaysia’s commitment to recover back and promote recycling of single-use plastic alongside its aim to partner locally. With the rising popularity of food and grocery deliveries, it is essential that we find ways to enable greater recycling of plastic waste.
“Partnerships and initiatives from corporations like Grab can help rally communities to adopt greener practices and contribute to positive change. We hope other companies will join us in our mission to improve the recycling habits of consumers through KLEAN’s own digital version of a container deposit scheme”.
Dzuleira Abu Bakar, MRANTI’s CEO, said: “MRANTI is set to bridge the gap between public and private sector collaboration by connecting problem statements (demand) with solutions (supply) and increasing private sector participation, either through market access, investment, advisory, consultation, or providing testing and prototyping facilities. This project collaboration among the great minds of Grab and KLEAN is what we aim to nurture further within the ecosystem.”
KLEAN Reverse Vending Machines, which was launched in 2019 by JANZ Technologies Sdn Bhd, collect aluminum cans and plastic bottles and sort on-site while registering users and rewarding them with virtual points. These collected items are then smelted back into aluminum in the case of cans and recycled into Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) pellets and fiber in the case of plastic bottles by recycling partners within the KLEAN ecosystem.
Over the next few months, the partnership aims to look at developing more AI-driven RVMs, onboard more reward partners to its redemption platform, data collection, and deploy the machines to various locations across the country for easier access.