Refilling instead of Recycling
Recycling plastics is fine. But the megatrend neo-ecology shows new possibilities: avoid plastic in advance. How it works? Quite simply, by reusable containers instead of disposable packaging. umdasch's Store Makers are pioneers in the field of refilling systems and have received clear results in a large-scale study in Germany, Austria and Switzerland: 92% of respondents prefer reusable packaging. Gerold Knapitsch, divisional head of umdasch Food Retail, explains why the study was conducted, what the results are and what further opportunities exist for producers and retailers.
Mr. Knapitsch, why is umdasch dealing with the subject of refilling?
First of all, the preservation of a clean environment is a personal concern of mine. Secondly, there are clear guidelines from the EU: disposable packaging saves a lot of money; Industry and retail now have to rethink and act. We thought about where to start here. The answer to this for us as a shopfitting company is refilling-systems at the point of sale. Ultimately, however, we can not take any action without knowing the acceptance of our solutions among consumers. We asked ourselves whether people would ever use reusable packaging in their daily shopping.
Are the consumers ready?
Absolutely. I was surprised by the clear results: out of more than 1,000 respondents in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, 92% say that they would rather refill instead of throwing the packaging away - if only there were possibilities. In part, people would pay even more for such sustainable alternatives.
Which products are suitable from the point of view of the respondents?
The possibilities are endless. The study participants had many ideas, from oils to antifreeze to cereals and above all: detergents. We have already developed a system for the metered dispensing of detergents, the Liquid Dispenser.
How does the Liquid Dispenser work?
Depending on the requirements of the product, different versions are possible. The principle is very easy: The buyer puts his container on the given place, by pressing a button, the product is issued. A clean, hygienic issue is a big concern for consumers, according to the survey. This is perfectly possible with our solution. There are currently containers in two different sizes to choose from. You scan the barcode on it so that the scanner recognizes the volume and the filling is stopped in time. The amount can therefore be dosed exactly. To bridge the short waiting time of less than a minute, there is the opportunity to get exciting product information via a screen - an added value for the industry, with the opportunity to bring selected content to the consumer.
What is the expense of the dealers with refilling systems?
The Liquid Dispenser is a self-explanatory system for the customer. Therefore, no consulting effort by the sales staff is necessary. The consumer is intuitively accompanied by information on the display of the dispenser through the bottling process. Only connecting the containers is necessary. Currently, two canisters of 20 liters each are provided in one system. However, this can be adjusted as desired. For example, it is also possible to deliver larger containers directly on a half pallet or to place the container in another room. Empty containers are of course reused. The exact process must be coordinated with the companies involved, as well as the individual production of the dispenser. We act as a partner and support you in the entire process, from design to construction and after sales service.
If there is a fault during filling or the storage container is empty, textmessages will be sent to the defined and trained personnel immediately, so that it can quickly take care of the elimination of the fault. And we offer a dedicated service team that can take over the maintenance of the equipment, remotely or locally.
And how do you get to a liquid dispenser or other refilling system?
We see ourselves not only as a supplier, but really as a partner for the entire implementation and beyond. The Liquid Dispenser is the invitation to start a joint project: here something can really be achieved in terms of sustainability. Industry and trade are always eager to set the example for environmental protection and now have an exciting opportunity, because our study has proven that consumers are now ready for such implementation. This is not a project where you put on a "green coat", but one that actually does something good for the environment. With our technological manufacturing capabilities and all services we are the perfect partner for the implementation of refilling solutions of all kinds - for industry and commerce!