Logo design by Aaron Liceaga
RePET is a functioning reverse vending machine prototype that recycles plastic bottles and dispenses a financial refund.
Alongside Sofía Sáenz I mainly worked in the mechanical area of the prototype, designing and building the structure and the mechanism to compact the PET bottles. We built a linear guide rail with a rack and pinion system powered by a 1/18 hp electrical motor and mounted it on a 60cm x 60cm 160cm structure made out of steel. I also helped with the machine’s interface – a 64×128 LCD and an arcade push button.
RePET is a mix of technologies and systems:
As we have been abroad we could see a lack of an ‘environmental culture’ in Mexico. We all also had some interest in using technology for sustainability and making the mundane less of a pain. Furthermore, we came across The Fun Theory, a Volkswagen initiative with the thought that “something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better”. We then decided to build a machine that incentivizes people to recycle.
Thinking as entrepreneurs, we planned to get grocery stores involved with recycling. The idea behind the RFID cards is to sell the machine to stores and use their points card system. The financial refund would be tied to the store that has the recycling service. As a matter of fact, reverse vending machines have just arrived to Mexico City.