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Tomra RollPac: First vertical backroom system launched for drink container storage

#Tomra RollPac: First vertical backroom system launched for drink container storage

01 Feb 2024 — Reverse vending specialist Tomra is presenting Tomra RollPac — the company’s “most compact and first vertical backroom system” for storing drink containers returned for recycling. The system heightens storage cabinets for retailers seeking space-efficient reverse vending layouts.

“Backroom” reverse vending solutions are for sorting, compacting and storing bottles and cans — typically installed in a retailer’s storage room, on the other side of a wall behind a reverse vending machine. By locating part of the system in a backroom, reverse vending has less of a footprint in the front-of-house area and the retailer gets the most out of their store space.

Tomra RollPac is also the company’s first backroom solution compatible with roller cage load carriers, the preferred logistics format for many supermarkets.

Compacted material in the roller cages can be transported via reverse logistics on trucks traveling back to regional hubs, to streamline pick-ups and reduce transport emissions. Retailers act as return locations for empty containers in many regions with deposit return legislation for drink container recycling.

Tomra RollPac is six meters high and has a system footprint that is 40% smaller than that of similar Tomra systems. As such, it is tailored for small to medium stores, and the flexible layout for cabinets enables it to fit most locations.

Woman pushing empty container for bottles into return vending machine. Tomra RollPac is compatible with existing machines, limiting the investment required to upgrade to the new system.Testing Tomra RollPac
Tomra RollPac is compatible with existing front-end reverse vending machines and backroom equipment such as tables and turns — limiting the investment required to upgrade to the new system.

RollPac was first previewed as a concept at EuroShop 2023, in Düsseldorf, Germany, February 26–March 2, the “world’s largest retail trade fair.” It appeared as part of a series of five new innovations seeking to future-proof reverse vending and redefine the recycling experience — for retailers offering reverse vending machines and their shoppers using them.

Tomra RollPac has been tested in the field by retailers and recyclers since June 2023. Testing took place at five stores in Austria and Germany, countries where roller cage infrastructure is more common in supermarkets.

Test stores found that employees were enthusiastic about the new Tomra RollPac because it is easy to empty. One store commented: “The feedback from our employees is fantastic because they see that handling has become better and simpler. Our backroom is a challenge because it is small and narrow, but Tomra RollPac fits right in.”

A participating test store saw a 24% decrease in the number of storage bin changes during one month, and a 31% increase in the number of containers stored between each bin change.

Tomra RollPac also showed faster bin changes, with changes taking 20 seconds — up to five to seven times faster than other backroom solutions without a rolling bin, says Tomra. “The ease of rolling also means bin changes are a single-person operation,” the company concludes.

Edited by Natalie Schwertheim

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