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K-Citymarket Vantaa Tammisto nearly triples container returns after acquiring TOMRA R1

Vantaa, FINLAND: Bottle returns at K-Citymarket Vantaa Tammisto have grown from 5.1 million to 14 million after the hypermarket purchased the TOMRA R1 "multi-feed" reverse vending machine - an increase of nearly 9 million containers within the first year.

08 December 2021

 

We have invested heavily and renovated the entire store. The R1 is part of that and where it all started. As a result, customer footfall has increased significantly.

Kimmo Sivonen, store owner, K-Citymarket Vantaa Tammisto

Installed reverse vending system

 

“We are one of the largest K-Citymarkets in Finland, and the owner of Finland’s first TOMRA R1 reverse vending system,” says a proud Kimmo Sivonen, store owner at K-Citymarket Vantaa Tammisto. The TOMRA R1 “multi-feed” reverse vending machine delivers a quicker, cleaner and more convenient recycling experience by allowing customers to pour over 100 plastic bottles and cans into the machine in one go, instead of feeding them in one by one. 

Customer magnet

Kimmo Sivonen says the equipment is a great addition to the hypermarket for customers and employees alike. TOMRA R1 has become a customer magnet and the store has seen a steep increase in the number of containers collected, as well as satisfied customers. “When planning to buy the R1, our goal was to improve customer satisfaction and, of course, double the return volume. In the past, we collected around 5.1 million bottles and cans per year. During the first year with TOMRA R1, the volume increased to 14 million,” says Sivonen.  

He also explains that K-Citymarket Vantaa Tammisto wants to do its part for the environment: “I think that collecting and recycling plastic is important. We should recycle plastic and avoid that it ends up in nature, seas and rivers. As a big player, we want to take responsibility for the environment and do responsible things that are also sensible and work.” 

Customer time saver

TOMRA R1 has become a favorite among the store's customers because it makes their shopping trip more convenient. “Before we returned a few bottles every day, but the TOMRA machine has made our daily life so much easier. We now return bottles once a week,” says customer Pauliina, who is visiting the store with her two young daughters, Olivia & Amanda, and teaching them about recycling at the same time. “We want to teach our children how to respect nature, and how to reduce emissions. Recycling bottles has a huge impact on nature.” 

Dina, Jan and Jade are also eager customers at K-Citymarket Vantaa Tammisto, and are thrilled with the TOMRA R1. “The best thing about the R1 is not having to put those dirty bottles into the machine by hand. You just grab the bag and pour the bottles directly into the machine,” says Dina. Another customer, Anssi, finds the new reverse vending system to be a great time-saver. “First I return the bottles and then I spend the refund in the store right away. It saves time that I don’t need to stand in front of the machine for half an hour.”  

More efficient than ever 

The implementation of the R1 has also made life easier for store employees. “My workdays have changed for the better, no running to the reverse vending machines anymore,” said store employee Sami Peiponen. “We have a TOMRA app on our work phones where we can see the filling level of the bins. The system has several bins, so it doesn’t stop even if one bin gets full.” 

K-Citymarket Vantaa Tammisto gets the most out of their TOMRA R1 by pairing it with the Notify+Assist app, which gives instant in-app notifications when a reverse vending machine needs attendance, such as a storage bin soon approaching full capacity, so that staff are informed before their users are inconvenienced. The app shows the reverse vending machines visually and in real time, and gives instructions on how to resolve any reverse vending situations. 

Customer satisfaction has also increased, according to store employee Peiponen: “Customers also gave nicknames to the R1 like ‘big eater’ and ‘glutton’. Customer feedback has generally been really good, because returning bottles is clean, easy and quick."