Water for Plastic: IIT Bombay Students Invent Machine to Reduce Waste and Quench Thirst

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Get rid of your plastic waste and get clean drinking water for it with this revolutionary machine built by two IIT-Bombay final year students.

It’s a win-win for the environment and anyone who’s thirsty, looking for a sip of water. The machine accepts used cans or bottles, and dispenses 300 millilitres of clean (RO and UV treated) drinking water in exchange. Designed and developed in just 95 days by Anurag Meena and Satyendra Meena, it is currently on a pilot test run at the IIT-Bombay boys’ hostel. In the coming months, it will also be installed in several other places in Mumbai and Chandigarh.

Trestor, a Chandigarh-based startup, is helping the boys develop and manufacture these machines, which can hold up to eight litres of water. It can provide water in room temperature as well as chilled, good for the rising heat this summer.

It can accept up to a litre of plastic waste, which is crushed to one-sixth of its size save space.


Representational image

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“It has three compartments, one for plastic, other for aluminum and third for any other waste that people might put into it,” said Kunal in a quote to The Free Press Journal. “It is not only a machine, it is a mindset. It gives people an incentive for keeping their surroundings clean.”

Enabled with WiFi and Bluetooth, the machine automatically sends an alert when it is 80% full. The message goes to the machine administrator, who would come and collect the plastic.

Anurag says that the duo worked nights after classes to develop the machine. He adds, “Though we worked on the design late into the night, in the daytime we had to work with fabricators, since we would not be able to get them late.”

Speaking to The Hindu, Trestor founder Kunal Dixit said, “Through our ‘Swachh Machine’, we intend to inculcate a culture of cleanliness among people by incentivising them for every used bottle or aluminium can they put in the machine, in lieu of which they will be rewarded with a digital value token called ‘trest’. This can also be exchanged for 300 ml of clean drinking water.” The ‘trest’ is a digital token available on the Trestor app, and can also be collected in its physical form through grocery stores or the machine itself.

According to The Hindu, the boys’ innovation has already helped reduce waste by around 10 kilograms in the IIT campus.

The machine costs Rs 50,000, and its add-on features another Rs 50,000. With a plan to manufacture at least 5000 machines a month, the startup is testing the machines and seeking financial backing.

Featured image source: The Hindu

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