Solar street furniture dedicated to the collection of recyclable packaging

Sunbox side view
Publicado: 24 Marzo 2023
Última edición: 24 Marzo 2023
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Plastic pollution is a major problem on island territories which often lack infrastructure for processing recyclable materials. They are either buried or incinerated while a circular economy is possible.

Citizens who use the Sunbox or the Solarcube are rewarded for their ecological gesture with a voucher proportional to the number of plastic bottles or cans introduced into our RVM (Reverse Vending Machine). 


The Sunbox is a compaction box with 1 to 4 rvm that compact plastic bottles, glass bottles or cans. The storage capacity depends on the volume of the compaction chamber which is beetween 11 to 20 m3. This corresponds, for example, to 75,000 plastic bottles (11m3) to 130,000 plastic bottles (20m3).


The Solarcube is less efficient than the Sunbox because its storage capacity is 6,000 bottles.


El Caribe
Scale of implementation
Area-wide development
Arrecifes coralinos
Bosques costeros
Ecosistema urbano
Ecosistemas de agua dulce
Ecosistemas marinos y costeros
Humedales (pantano, turberas)
Mar abierto
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Actores locales
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Manejo espacial de la zona marino-costera
Medios de vida sostenibles
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No listado
Planificaión urbana
Poblaciones indígenas
Other theme
food security, management planning, and sustainable resource management
ocean-bound plastic pollution
Species Conservation and One Health Interventions
Comunicación de riesgos, participación de la comunidad y cambio de comportamiento
One Health
Aspectos sanitarios ligados a factores socioeconómicos, tales como: La pobreza, la educación, las estructuras de seguridad social, la digitalización, los sistemas de financiación y el desarrollo de la capacidad humana
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Sustainable development goals
ODS 1 - Fin de la pobreza
ODS 2 - Hambre cero
ODS 9 - Industria, innovacióne e infraestructura
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ODS 12 - Producción y consumo responsables
ODS 14 - Vida submarina
ODS 15 - Vida de ecosistemas terrestres
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Aichi targets
Meta 8: Reducción de la contaminación
Meta 14: Los servicios ecosistemicos
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A better life for local populations
Marco de Sendai
Meta 6: Incrementar la cooperación hacia países en desarrollo a través de apoyo adecuado y sustentable a fin de complementar sus acciones
Business engagement approach
Compromiso directo con una empresa
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Indirecto a través de los consumidores


Guadeloupe | Paris
Chartres, Eure-et-Loir, France
Rambouillet, Yvelines, France


The collection of recyclable packaging in the voluntary contribution terminals does not work well. Collection results are stagnating. Wild deposits around these terminals are increasing. Additonallay the terminals are expensive to maintain. The challenge was to inspire part of the population to sort recyclable packaging, especially plastic bottles. The incentive is proportional to the deposite. 


The implementation of a Sunbox is based on a win-win partnership. - The urban community increases its collection volumes of recyclable packaging. - Partner store increases sales and attendance - users increase their purchasing power by performing an ecological gesture. 


The Guadeloupe region took part in the project because household waste is mostly buried or incinerated without recycling. The cost of treatment has become very expensive (around 500€/ton).


Sunbox users come for different reasons: Some of them are in great financial difficulty and are struggling to buy food to feed their families.

Other users qant to be certain that the recyclable packaging deposited will be 100% recycled.

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

The Sunbox equipment such as the Double compaction, the solar panels and the RVM make this innovation a unique urban furniture in the world. All these innovations make the operation of the Sunbox profitable and sustainable. We collect nearly 100 tons of PET per year which represents 60,606€ of income for the users (0,02€/bottle), the sale of PET can generate more than 65,000€ per year (650€/ton). The transformation of recycled packaging collected (plastic bottles or cans) allows to limit to the maximum the human interventions and thus the associated expenses.


Around 5,000 users use the Sunbox  each month. We have forged partnerships with hospitals, police stations, the army, urban communities so that they come and drop off their plastic bottles and take advantage of the voucher for their community.


Many users collect plastic bottles on the beach or in the mangroves, allowing effective cleaning of sensitive areas. this preserves the ecosystem and promotes tourism. Some users bring back more than 10,000 bottles per month, this improving their standard of living and social status.

The 3 Solarcube of Martinique( installed in 2019) have collected 256 tons of PET in 3 years, which represents 7,700,000 plastic bottles. There is no bottle processing center in Martinique. The 2 Solarcubes in Guadeloupe have collected 218 tons in 2 years,  6,600,000 plastic bottles. The city centers in which the Solarcube were located no longer had bottles on the streets because they were picked up by Solarcube users. Between 200 and 300 kg of PET collected every day by a single Solarcube. The Solarcube collect between 200,000 and 270,000 plastic bottles each month in Guadeloupe. The Sunbox is autonomous thanks to solar panels. It is mobile and secure.


RVM Conception

I would like to share the story of Françoise who is one of our most loyal customers at the Sunbox in Chartres. She is retired and does not earn enough money to live with dignity. She therefore bet on collecting bottles to improve her daily life and be able to shop in the Carrefour store where the Solarcube is located.

She notes in her notebook all the plastic bottles brought to the Sunbox over the past 3 years. She has created a group of people who give her bottles, she also finds some in the city on the ground or in the garbage cans.

in 2019, it accumulated 37,833 plastic bottles for a total amount of €756.66

in 2020 it exceeded its record with 93,248 bottles for a total amount of €1,864.96

In 2021, it accumulated 134,852 plastic bottles for a total amount of €2,697.04

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Pierre-Olivier Abor RVM Conception

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