TOMRA R2 29.02.24

TOMRA’s new R2 reverse vending machine for drinks container recycling, designed for inclusivity and accessibility, has begun in-store market tests in four European countries, coinciding with the Leap Year’s ‘Leap Day’ on 29 February.

The company states that in-store tests are taking place at several supermarkets in Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Finland, involving both retailers and recyclers in the development of the new reverse vending machine (RVM). The feedback and results will be used to refine the product before the official launch in September 2024.

According to TOMRA, the main features of the R2 machine includes a wall-mounted front unit facing the consumer, minimising in-store space, allowing access for service and cleaning from behind the machine and its compatibility with current TOMRA behind-the-wall storage solutions; and the option for recyclers to leave the RVM, start shopping while the machine is still processing containers, and receive their refund as a digital voucher. Apparently, users can scan the QR code on TOMRA R2’s screen with their phone camera and the digital voucher will appear in their mobile browser.

The company also states the R2 was designed for inclusivity and accessibility with a the low screen, overhanging in-feed, proximity sensor, tactile surface and a graphical user interface enhanced with greater contrast for people with visual impairments, as well as touch-free operations such as a fully-automated lid.

TOMRA R2 use 29.02.24

TOMRA claims its multi-feed RVMs have “attracted recyclers”, with stores seeing an average 33% rise in the number of consumer sessions and 86% increase in containers returned. It also cites its recent consumer research  which reportedly found that 87% of recyclers spend their deposit refunds in store.

TOMRA R2 will be the second product in the company’s multi-feed line, which apparently allows recyclers to pour hundreds of bottles and cans into an RVM rather than inserting them one by one. The machine will start processing the containers while the user continues to pour them in.

TOMRA says the first product, TOMRA R1, reached 500 installations in 16 countries in January. TOMRA R1 is designed for retailers with high volumes of container returns, while TOMRA R2’s smaller physical footprint makes it suitable for a wider range of stores.

This month TOMRA also acquired a stake in start-up PolyPerception which develops AI-based waste flow monitoring for PET recyclers and sorting plants, with the move hoped to strengthen the company’s position in the AI sector and improve its resource recovery.

In similar news, Lidl recently introduced in-store reverse vending machines and launched a bottle return scheme across its Glasgow supermarkets, in hopes of recycling 10.5 tonnes of plastic and aluminium every month.

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