(Photo credit: TOMRA)

Vertical backroom system

TOMRA launches RollPac, its first reverse vending backroom for roller cages

2:26 min Sorting and collection
Asker, Norway

Global reverse vending leader TOMRA Collection has unveiled TOMRA RollPac, the company’s most compact and first vertical backroom system for the storage of drink containers returned for recycling, adding height to storage cabinets for retailers seeking space-efficient reverse vending layouts. 

The innovative TOMRA RollPac is also the company’s first backroom solution to be compatible with roller cage load carriers, the preferred logistics format for many supermarkets. This makes it a familiar and convenient system for stores, seamlessly fitting with existing storage room infrastructure. Compacted material in the roller cages can be transported via reverse logistics on trucks travelling back to regional hubs, to streamline pick-ups and reduce transport emissions. In many regions with deposit return legislation for drink container recycling, retailers act as return locations for empty containers.

“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 has a history of innovation in reverse vending, developing the first fully-automated reverse vending machine in 1972, and later the first self-programmable RVM, RVM for drink container crates and cans, and 360-degree instant recognition system for RVMs. It also has an extensive offering of digital tools for RVMs and multi-feed RVMs where consumers pour in entire bags of containers instead of inserting them one by one.

TOMRA RollPac stands at 2.6 meters high and has a system footprint 40% smaller than 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. TOMRA RollPac is compatible with existing front-end reverse vending machines such as TOMRA T9, T8 and the upcoming TOMRA R2 (launching later this year), and backroom equipment such as tables, turns and more – limiting the investment required to upgrade to RollPac.

Tomra November

TOMRA RollPac was first previewed as a concept at EuroShop 2023, 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 both the retailers offering reverse vending machines and their shoppers using the machines.

Putting RollPac to the test 

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 simply fantastic, because they see that handling has become better and simpler. Our backroom is a particular challenge because it is small and narrow, but TOMRA RollPac just fits right in.” 

One store in the market tests saw a 24% decrease in the number of storage bin changes during a one-month period, and a 31% increase in the number of containers stored between each bin change. TOMRA RollPac also showed faster bin changes, with changes taking only 20 seconds – up to 5-7 times faster than other backroom solutions without a rolling bin. The ease of rolling also means bin changes are a single-person operation, and can be done no matter who is on the job. 

TOMRA RollPac forms our most compact backroom system. TOMRA’s first ever vertical storage system handles the highest volume of bottles and cans in the smallest footprint, so you can make the most of your backroom storage or retail sales space. This means stores can collect higher volumes, while reducing operational effort and enabling staff to spend more time with their customers.” --Gudbrand ArnesenHead of Product Management, TOMRA Collection

TOMRA RollPac is available now in Austria. and in Germany later this year. Further countries will follow during 2024 and 2025. Retailers can contact TOMRA or their local representative for more information.

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