TOMRA Collection Solutions Digital has delivered IoT solutions for the company’s reverse vending machines (RVMs) since the mid-1990s, offering innovative tools that enhance the recycling experience for customers and consumers.
Every minute, one million plastic bottles are bought around the world. Over 480 billion were sold in 2016, estimated to rise 20 per cent by 2021. Thirty-two per cent of all discarded plastic packaging ends up in nature, polluting communities and oceans. In fact, the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans every minute. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight.
Consumers are guided by habit, and habits are often formed through the path of least resistance. To motivate people to recycle, the solution must be smooth and effortless. To this end, TOMRA is introducing customers and consumers to the digital era of recycling.
For RVM owners, TOMRA has developed digital products to make the machines easier to operate, including error notifications, fraud prevention, and reports about recycling activity, bin handling, cleaning and payouts. For users, the myTOMRA app lets them see available RVMs on a map, log in to a personal recycling session, and get their deposit transferred electronically or as a digital voucher.
TOMRA’s digital products streamline recycling and allow machine owners to offer the reverse vending experience consumers expect. Real-time notifications enable them to handle errors instantly. Reports help them to understand consumers’ recycling habits and plan staffing accordingly. Fraud prevention ensures deposit vouchers are never paid out twice.
myTOMRA shows users the status of their favourite RVMs to avoid wasting time at closed machines. Digital payout lets recyclers skip printed vouchers, and gives more freedom with where they spend their deposit money.
Founded in 1972, TOMRA is the world’s largest provider of RVMs, with more than 82 000 installations in over 60 markets. More than 60 000 are connected to the IoT platform. Thousands are added each year, making the digital era of recycling available to more and more people. TOMRA’s RVMs capture 40 billion used beverage containers every year for recycling into new bottles and cans.
Reverse vending machines make container returns more efficient and convenient, especially in container deposit schemes. These schemes see up to almost 100 per cent of all drink containers returned; no other waste collection system comes close to such results. The UN Environment Programme in 2017 encouraged all nations to implement such container deposit schemes, and the European Commission in 2018 proposed requirements for member states to collect 90 per cent of single-use plastic drinks bottles by 2029.