Pepsi sorts out Saudi Arabia’s plastic problem with smart trash cans


From clean energy to paperless services, cities in the Middle East are focusing on environment friendly solutions in their bid to evolve as smart ecosystems. In the wake of a rapid digital transition, Dubai has even set up the world’s largest plant for recycling e-waste, generated due to increased consumption of devices that are being replaced regularly.

Saudi Arabia has also announced plans to build a city without cars to cut down emissions, and seeks to address climate change by exporting cleaner hydrogen fuel. But at the same time, the kingdom is paying attention to the basics, since it has deployed AI backed solutions for effectively tackling plastic waste in its holiest city.

In collaboration with beverage giant Pepsi, Saudi’s administration is using smart dustbins in Makkah to separate plastic bottles from rest of the garbage. This method will speed up and simplify the process of sending plastic to be reused on an industrial scale.

Named among top plastic polluters last year alongside rival Coca-Cola and Nestle, PepsiCo is also exploring ways for effective disposal of bottles during the upcoming Hajj season in Makkah. For Saudi Arabia, protecting the environment and boosting sustainable development at its holy sites is a key priority for the futuristic vision 2030.

To make the entire operation even more environment friendly and tech-savvy, the containers will be powered by solar energy.

This initiative is significant in the Middle East, which accounts for 8% of the global plastic production. Sorting waste is one of the most crucial steps in the process of recycling plastics,. which can be chipped, melted and turned into pellets for being reused once they are set aside.

Among the kingdom’s neighbours in the gulf, Dubai had started placing smart trash cans back in 2018 for waste segregation. Its fellow Emirate Sharjah had started even earlier with bins that were equipped with sensors to alert authorities when the containers are full.

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