Imagine, getting rewarded with manufacturers discount coupons for the things you buy the most just for recycling your old newspapers and magazines. Doing that is possible through REMAG, a program launched Tuesday by Puerto Rican supermarket chain SuperMax.
By recycling old newspapers, magazines and catalogs at interactive kiosks initially set up at three stores— Plaza Guaynabo, De Diego and Isla Verde — customers can properly dispose of the paper goods and select up to four manufacturers coupons at a time from 15 different product categories.
At present, there are more than $120 worth of savings in more than 150 coupons from participating companies available for consumers at the green and white, interactive kiosks that will go live Thursday.
Participating companies B. Fernández & Hnos., Clorox, Colgate/Palmolive, General Mills, Healthy Choice, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Nestle, Pepsi, Procter and Gamble, Unilever are offering discounts on widely used products.
“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, which customers have been seeing through our recent image changes such as more efficient lighting and refrigeration systems,” said SuperMax president, José Revuelta.
A total of six kiosks — two per store — will begin accepting recycled paper starting Thursday. The pilot program will run for three months, through late November, after which Revuelta said the retailer would decide whether to expand the initiative to all of its 50 stores.
Recent studies have confirmed that a new trend in using manufacturing coupons is on the rise in Puerto Rico, with about 17 percent of local consumers confirming that they use them at the checkout, according to this year’s Consumer X-Ray study, commissioned by the Marketing, Industry and Food Distribution Chamber, known as MIDA for its initials in Spanish.
The goal of the REMAG program — aside from promoting paper recycling by providing an accessible alternative to do so — is to ramp up the use of manufacturers discounts on the island, Revuelta said.
The interactive customer experience is simple, engaging and fast, and can be completed four easy steps:
- Consumers bring their newspapers, magazines or catalogs to the REMAG kiosk at their local participating retailer to recycle.
- They scan/identify the newspaper, magazine or catalog for recycling and deposit it in the labeled slot. If the newspaper is free, and lacks a barcode, the consumer can identify the publication manually through the kiosk’s touchscreen.
- The consumer selects the nonprofit or charity to receive a monetary reward for each printed coupon.
- Finally, the customer selects the coupons of their choice from various leading consumer products across multiple categories and leading brands for immediate use. The customer will receive up to five coupons for each recycled newspaper or magazine — four chosen and one random bonus coupon. Coupons can be redeemed at SuperMax and other retailers, depending on the fine print.
“We’re thrilled to have SuperMax join us on this great venture. 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. This is a fundamental part of REMAG’s commitment,” said Blake Patterson, executive vice president for REMAG, who added that Puerto Rico is the first place in the world where his company is launching the kiosk-recycling concept.Supermax President José Revuelta (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)
REMAG has received the support in the environmental and recycling area from organizations such as: the Environmental Protection Agency, the Solid Waste Authority, Green America and the Puerto Rico Recycling Partnership. IFCO Recycling will be responsible for handling the material.
“This project has been in development for four years, and 18 months in the making with SuperMax, which is now the first retailer in the world to offer this program,” he said. “We’re looking forward to being able to expand our kiosks throughout the island, and help foster a culture among Puerto Rican consumers to recycle and use manufacturers coupons.”
Eventually, REMAG kiosks could be installed at other retail establishments and even office buildings. However, SuperMax will remain the only grocer on the island to have the machines. Furthermore, the variety of coupons could also expand to include discounts for services and entertainment, he said.
Meanwhile, Revuelta said SuperMax has already programmed its systems to accept the kiosk-generated coupons, so using them at the register should be problem-free. Furthermore, he said the stores will have staff dedicated to monitoring the machines, to empty them as they become full.
When recycling at the kiosks, customers will contribute to supporting any of seven of their favorite charities or nonprofit organization currently participating in the program, which will receive a .5¢ donation for each printed coupon paid for by REMAG.
The first nonprofits to participate in the REMAG program are: The Humane Society of Puerto Rico, SER de Puerto Rico, San Juan Bay Estuary, Hogares Teresa Toda, Sacred Heart University, Sierra Club and the G8 (eight communities around the Caño Martín Peña). These local organizations help Puerto Rico thrive through their advocacy for children, animals, the protection of natural resources, and education.
Patterson said more organizations can be added to the list, as the program takes off.