REMAG, a program that rewards consumers with coupons when they recycle their newspapers, helps the community, promotes local economic development, and helps save the planet, launched its distinctive green and white kiosks in 24 supermarkets across Puerto Rico Monday.
The program makes a return after running a pilot program from August to November 2013, which Blake Patterson, executive vice president and creator of REMAG, said “instilled a new habit in the use of coupons on the island.”
According to MIDA’s 2014 Consumer X-Ray Study, consumer use of coupons in Puerto Rico has significantly increased from 2 percent in 2009 to 24 percent in 2014.
REMAG introduced the concept two years ago in partnership with the SuperMax chain. The machines are now located throughout the island in Econo, Plaza Loíza, Mr. Special and Pueblo stores. Aside from recycling, the REMAG program also benefits nonprofits, which receive a portion of the revenue generated.
“The pilot served us well and helped us identify areas of opportunity to improve the program. We have redesigned and optimized the software, the program itself, and the kiosk to make it user-friendlier for everyone, including our retail and promotion partners,” said Patterson.
REMAG is a “unique initiative that positively impacts various sectors: consumers, the social sector, economic development and the environment,” said Marilú Otero, executive director of the Puerto Rico Products Association.
Meanwhile, Manuel Alfonso Reyes, executive vice president of the Chamber of Marketing, Industry and Distribution of Food, known as MIDA, said “discount coupons have had a significant impact in recent years on the island.”
“REMAG has managed to be a catalyst for this change in an innovative manner and benefiting all sectors,” he said.
To use the kiosks, consumers must register onlineat www.remagpr.com or at a REMAG kiosk. They will be able to insert a maximum of five newspapers, magazines or catalogs in the slot provided, to choose five coupons out of 15 different supermarket products categories and five non-traditional categories including shops, products, entertainment, services and restaurants.
For each coupon selected, REMAG will donate 3 cents to the nonprofit organization chosen by the consumer.
“We’re very excited about the launch of this first phase of REMAG in Puerto Rico and hope to continue expanding in the future with more kiosks in stores all over the island, I have lived here for almost three years and love Puerto Rico,” Patterson said.
“My hope is that REMAG helps people save money, contributes to some worthy causes and raises the awareness of recycling here on the island,” he added.