SodaStream and TOMRA are piloting a solution for the in-store return of used CO2 cylinders, with the objective of making the cylinder exchange more efficient for both retailers and consumers.

Special SodaStream-branded reverse vending machines (RVMs) are now being installed in retail stores across the European Union and the United States.

SodaStream customers purchase the CO2 cylinders to make sparkling water or sparkling beverages in their homes and, when a cylinder is empty, they can return it and exchange it for a full one.

TOMRA reports that its solution perfectly suits the current retail situation, as the reverse vending machines ease social distancing by avoiding the need for human interaction.

Now, instead of queuing at a customer service desk or check out to return the used CO2 cylinder, or coordinating online shipping services, customers can place the empty cylinder in the reverse vending machines and receive a voucher for the value of the used cylinder.

This voucher will act as a credit toward the purchase of a new CO2 refill at the retailer store in which the reverse vending machine operates.

The cylinders are designed to remain in a closed-loop, whereby all cylinders are returned to SodaStream refill plants where they are cleaned, filled, and sealed for reuse.

“We hope the TOMRA reverse vending solution will bring smoother logistics for both SodaStream retailers and customers, and make it even easier for streamers to exchange their cylinders and do their part for the environment,” commented Eyal Shohat, SodaStream’s CEO. “We take pride in partnering with an industry leader that shares our vision to make the beverage space more sustainable.”

“This partnership expands the ways in which TOMRA reduces waste in our environment. The closed-loop recycling of drink containers and now the facilitation of reusing CO2 cylinders are examples of how TOMRA is leading the way in contributing to a circular economy,” added Anneli Forsman, senior VP for TOMRA Collection Solutions in Northern Europe.

“We are delighted to bring TOMRA reverse vending technologies beyond traditional can and bottle returns to new and meaningful applications.”