Free mobile app from Nestlé encourages recycling in Singapore

Aug 2, 2011
Nestlé Singapore's 123 Recycle app for the iPhone WORLD FIRST: The 123 Recycle application for iPhone (above) and Android devices is the first of its kind to help people recycle waste packaging correctly

Nestlé has launched the world’s first free, mobile application for iPhone and Android devices to help people recycle waste packaging correctly.

The 123Recycle application - currently only available in Singapore - scans a product’s barcode to provide information on how to sort and dispose of the different parts of its packaging.

Developed by Nestlé Singapore in collaboration with the Nanyang Polytechnic School of Information Technology, it can be used with both Nestlé and non-Nestlé products.

It is being supported by the Singaporean Government’s National Environment Agency, and non-government organisations the Singapore Environment Council and the Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore.

Yves Soppelsa, Senior Packaging Engineer at the Nestlé Research Center in Singapore – who designed the application – explained how he came up with the idea and said: “I noticed that people in the apartment block where I live were sorting waste packaging for recycling incorrectly.

Girl sorting waste packaging for recycling HELPING PEOPLE TO RECYCLE: The app provides users with clear, easy-to-understand instructions on how to sort waste packaging material correctly.

“I realised that there was not enough information at the recycling point to help people understand which parts of the packaging should be put in which bin.”

As a solution to the problem, 123Recycle provides users with clear, easy-to-understand instructions; whether they are at home, out shopping, in the park, or at a recycling point.

When used with a Nestlé product, the app gives exact instructions on how to sort and dispose of each part of its packaging.

For Maggi brand tomato sauce for example, it advises users to put the product’s bottle and label in the green recycling bin for glass and its metal screw cap in the yellow bin for metal and aluminium.

For non-Nestlé products, it offers generic recycling instructions about specific packaging materials.

The app currently covers 99% of Nestlé products sold in Singapore, including imports and including products from Nestlé Purina and Nestlé Waters, while its information database is being updated every few months to include more products.

Future development

A selection of popular Nestlé products EXACT INSTRUCTIONS: The app covers 99% of Nestlé products sold in Singapore, providing specific instructions for how to sort and dispose of each part of their packaging.

Valerio Nannini, Country Manager of Nestlé Singapore, explained why the app has the potential to be developed further in Singapore and beyond.

He said: “With the widespread use of smart phones and social media, the 123Recycle app is a convenient way to help the public recycle waste material properly.

“With an email option included in the app, we hope it will become viral, so more people will be encouraged to do their part for the environment.”

Discussions are already underway with relevant government and non-government agencies in Singapore regarding the launch of a second version of 123Recycle that will include an interactive map of recycling points.

Mr Nannini said that the app could potentially be launched in any other country or large city around the world with a strong waste management policy and colour-coded recycling bins.

It is open to other companies to include their products for free and the National Environment Agency and the Singapore Environment Council are recommending other companies who would like to develop a similar app to join 123Recycle.

The application can be downloaded from the iTunes app store or from the Android market, where it can be found in the Education category.

Related information:
Nestlé Singapore website
Nanyang Polytechnic website