Mark Brill of TOMRA says the RVM firm is ready to roll out machines across Scotland
PREPARATIONS for DRS are well underway, with the Scottish Government, scheme administrator and retailers now all working towards an August 2023 live date.
Reverse vending machine manufacturers are also preparing for Scotland’s DRS rollout, bringing experience from other markets to the new scheme.
Mark Brill, VP sales and marketing at TOMRA Collection UK & Ireland, reckons his firm has “unparalleled experience” in rolling out hundreds of machines in a short space of time – experience the firm will need to draw on in the coming months.
Reverse vending machines, the specialist equipment that allows retailers to take back the bottles and cans included in DRS with minimal fuss, are new to the Scottish market, but they have been in place for decades in some countries.
Most recently, TOMRA has rolled out machines to Slovakia and Latvia as part of their newly launched deposit schemes.
Brill said TOMRA can “help reassure retailers” that reverse vending will become part of the “normal retail landscape” as it is in other nations.
Installing a reverse vending machine is not a requirement of DRS and many stores will likely opt to accept returns manually. However, an RVM will make sense for many retailers, according to Brill.
“Installing a machine will be important for businesses who sell a high volume of containers and expect their consumers to return those containers to them.
“It will also be important for those who want to serve the community and promote recycling in their store.
“Variables such as whether there is another return point nearby will likely affect the number of bottles that a store gets back, but this should be balanced with the opportunity that DRS offers to engage with shoppers,” he said.
For the grocery multiples and the discounters, experience in other markets, cavernous stores, and extended car parks should make accomodating an RVM fairly straightforward.
The same cannot be said for most of Scotland’s independent convenience retailers, but Brill said TOMRA has created an RVM solution with these stores in mind.
“TOMRA’s solutions are designed to help all retailers of all sizes make the most out of DRS.
“For the independent sector, TOMRA’s new machine, the TOMRA M1, is the smallest recycling machine on the market that can accept glass, cans and plastic in just 0.6 sq. metres.
“The M1 is designed to offer all of the benefits of automation, in a compact size to fit almost any store.”
For retailers looking to get some hands-on experience with reverse vending machines, TOMRA now has a physical presence in Scotland, as Brill explained.
“TOMRA has a showroom in Livingston featuring all our key technology for retailers to visit and try out for themselves.
“Retailers can also find out more via their trade association, including SGF, NFRN, ACS and the Scottish Retail Consortium,” he said.