How to Boost Puerto Rico's 11% Recycle Rate? Grocer Has Answers

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SuperMax aims to increase Puerto Rico's dismal 11 percent recycle rate. Photo: Shutterstock

SuperMax aims to increase Puerto Rico’s dismal 11 percent recycle rate. Photo: Shutterstock

Despite growing demand, limited access to recycling resources in Puerto Rico has kept the national recycling rate to a mere 11 percent as of 2012.

To help make diverting waste easier for residents — and provide additional incentives for recycling — Puerto Rican grocery chain SuperMax has teamed up with REMAG to launch a program that rewards consumers with coupons for recycling newspapers, magazines and catalogs at interactive kiosks in participating stores.

SuperMax will conduct a three-month pilot of the REMAG program in three store locations — Plaza Guaynabo, De Diego and Isla Verde — to address the increasing demand for recycling and counter the lack of accessible alternatives on the island.

“In SuperMax, we’re always looking for ways to help our community as well as expand the services and additional value we offer in our stores. With the REMAG program, we’re continuing to do just that along with demonstrating our environmental commitment,” SuperMax president José Revuelta said in a press release.

Blake Patterson, executive vice president of REMAG, demonstrates how the recycling kiosk works. Photo: REMAG

Blake Patterson, executive vice president of REMAG, demonstrates how the recycling kiosk works. Photo: REMAG

To participate in the program, consumers simply scan newspapers, magazines and catalogs before recycling them at in-store kiosks. Then, they are instantly rewarded with the coupons of their choosing from 15 different product categories.

There’s currently more than $120 worth of savings in more than 150 coupons available for consumers at the kiosks. To further boost the cause, customers can contribute to their favorite charity or nonprofit organization, which will receive a donation for each printed coupon paid for by REMAG — making the program a win-win for consumers, the environment and local communities.

“We’re confident the program will be a success and are pleased that we can benefit local nonprofit organizations with the donations they need to continue their labor of love,” Blake Patterson, executive vice president for REMAG, said of the partnership.

Puerto Rico nonprofit organizations participating with REMAG range from The Humane Society of Puerto Rico and the Sierra Club to G8, a civic organization serving eight communities surrounding the Caño Martín Peña near San Juan.

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