These M’sian Vending Machines Let You Turn Your Trash Into Gold

Because of its relatively stable value, long-term investments into gold can be a good way to supplement your savings.

The premise: If you can buy 500 grams of rice with X amount of gold, you’ll still be able to buy that same amount of rice with the same amount of gold 10 years down the road.

It’s been HelloGold‘s mission to bring that benefit to everyday, normal Malaysians by simplifying the process through their app.

Now, they’ve embarked on a pretty unique campaign to get the message out.

In collaboration with KLEAN reverse-vending machines, they’re launching a recycling scheme that will give Malaysians 0.00059 grams of investment-grade gold in exchange for each recycled bottle or plastic can.

The catch is that you won’t actually get to hold that gold, because it will all be stewarded in a Singaporean vault.

[caption id="attachment_636467" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image Credit: HelloGold[/caption]

This equivalent exchange will be available at 40 machines across Klang Valley by July, and 500 machines across Malaysia by the end of the year, as long as the user has downloaded the HelloGold app from Google Play Store or Apple Store.

How it works is that the vending machine will convert bottles or cans into credits, and users can choose to convert those credits into gold through the HelloGold app itself.

Other things you can swap credits for are airtime, smart card credit, and food vouchers, according to KLEAN’s website.

We’ve reached out to CEO and co-founder Robin Lee about how the partnership came to be, and will update with this space with his reply.

The KLEAN reverse-vending machines collects plastic or aluminum, then recycles them into either pure aluminum, or PET pellets to be reused. Meanwhile, they’ll usually offer users virtual points that can, in this case, be exchanged for gold.

This is all in hopes of getting Malaysians to start recycling.

[caption id="attachment_636466" align="alignnone" width="426"] Image Credit: HelloGold[/caption]

“Emerging economies across Asia are dealing with increasing plastic use and consumption,” said Robin.

“Without adequate recycling infrastructure or habits in place, these plastics end up in landfills and oceans destroying the environment. HelloGold’s partnership with KLEAN will incentivise people to clean up the environment, while accessing new financial products such as gold.”

Just 5 countries are responsible for 60% of the total plastic waste in the oceans. While Malaysia isn’t one of them, we’re still one of the top 10 offenders globally.

Worldwide, only 14% of the total plastic packaging gets recycled, and we lose the equivalent of US$80–120 billion of plastic per year.

So the team behind KLEAN decided to showcase the money that can be funneled back into the economy in a way that anyone can understand.

Nick Boden, CEO of KLEAN, said, “Plastic waste is increasing around the world, yet recycling rates remain low. Through this partnership, we aim to encourage greater recycling by showing Malaysians the potential wealth and money that lies around our communities, in our landfills and floats in our oceans.”

They’re even planning to expand their machines to other countries like Singapore and South Africa.

The idea is also for recycling aunties and uncles to be able to turn recycling directly into credits in their wallet (and gold, if they decide to use HelloGold) without having to go through middlemen that take a huge cut for themselves.

“Enabling these families to directly access virtual currency or gold at KLEAN’s reverse vending machines will allow for a safer and more stable economic livelihood,” said Nick.

Also Read: 4 Experienced CEOs Share How They Would React In These Extreme Situations

Feature Image Credit: Compiled from HelloGold and China Daily