REFUN: A Reverse Vending Machine that Turns ‘Waste into Creative Power’

14 February 2023

Corporate Communication and Alumni Relations Center (CCARC)

          The amount of plastic waste resulting from human consumption is increasing. Apart from reducing use in the first place, post-use management is also crucial. Recognizing the importance of engaging and finding ways to solve the problem and save the environment, the CMU Faculty of Humanities has initiated the project ‘Turning Waste into Creative Power’ which exchanges plastic water bottles for cash at a reverse vending machine, called REFUN. The initiative is in line with CMU’s Vision of becoming ‘A Leading University Committed to Social Responsibility for Sustainable Development through Innovation’.

          The REFUN machine allows students and staff to exchange used plastic bottles in exchange for cash. They will earn 50 points for a bottle of any size and every 500 points is worth one baht. This promotion is valid until March 31, 2023.

         The Faculty’s Dean, Assistant Professor Dr. Rawee Jansong who initiated the project, revealed that ‘Although REFUN is commonly found in the Central region (Bangkok), it has not yet reached Chiang Mai, nor any of the other northern provinces. Therefore, we have decided to install one at our faculty to promote the concept and practice of “waste sorting,” “recycling” and “keeping clean.” It will also evoke engagement and enjoyment at the same time.’

         CMU is committed to environmental protection through programmes involving waste sorting and increasing green space on campus. We hope to build on cooperation from individuals and achieve greater things in the future. Reflecting on the participation will lead to positive behavioral changes that will positively affect the public space shared by all members of the CMU community.