Battery Recycling Vending Machine

Volkswagen and DDB Russia created a new kind of eco-currency. To make it easier for locals to recycle, they installed a Battery Recycling vending machine in different parts of Russia that only accepts batteries as payment.

“Think Blue” program embodies Volkswagen’s commitment to create a whole new standard of technologically progressive and environmentally friendly products to shape a more sustainable future. The aim was to encourage consumers to recycle their old batteries and VW made it easier to do so with incentives offered as well.

Battery recycling is a problem in Russia, where over 15 million batteries and accumulators are thrown away every year in big cities like Moscow. One battery can pollute more than 20 square meters of the ground and many young people aren’t concerned about the problem, so Volkswagen and DDB Russia tried to motivate them.

The Vending Machine was installed in popular locations around Moscow. Two batteries would get them an anti-stress ball, four batteries would buy them a bottle of water, and six batteries could purchase an eco t-shirt.

One single machine collected over 8,000 batteries during the first month of installation. In comparison, a regular collection point in Russia usually gathers less than a thousand a month. The Think Machine successfully encouraged more people to recycle their batteries and gave them a little something in return.

Fun facts on Battery

  • The first battery was created by Alessandro Volta in 1798.
  • Unlike milk, the expiration date on a box of batteries doesn’t mean they need to be tossed. The batteries may start losing some efficiency by the time an expiration date arrives, but it still has a lot of life.
  • The word “battery” was used by Ben Franklin to describe multiple Leyden jars, which were considered power sources during his time. He pulled the word from the military term “battery”, which defined a group of weapons working together.

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