tomra tafcc 200

tomra tafcc 200

tomra tafcc 200

Recognition

AHO works award 2023 nominee

Recognition

AHO works award 2023 nominee

Recognition

AHO works award 2023 nominee

Description

This project has a systemic approach to recycling solutions. The delivery consists of a deposit system of reusable takeaway food containers (RTFC), for which I have designed a reverse vending machine (RVM). The TOMRA Takeaway Food Container Collector (TAFCC) is designed for collecting the RTFCs in public space, which the small footprint, sturdiness, and usability is a product of. Once it has collected a food container, the user will receive their "pant" money.

Project by Elias Rølvåg Horsgård

Description

This project has a systemic approach to recycling solutions. The delivery consists of a deposit system of reusable takeaway food containers (RTFC), for which I have designed a reverse vending machine (RVM). The TOMRA Takeaway Food Container Collector (TAFCC) is designed for collecting the RTFCs in public space, which the small footprint, sturdiness, and usability is a product of. Once it has collected a food container, the user will receive their "pant" money.

Project by Elias Rølvåg Horsgård

Description

This project has a systemic approach to recycling solutions. The delivery consists of a deposit system of reusable takeaway food containers (RTFC), for which I have designed a reverse vending machine (RVM). The TOMRA Takeaway Food Container Collector (TAFCC) is designed for collecting the RTFCs in public space, which the small footprint, sturdiness, and usability is a product of. Once it has collected a food container, the user will receive their "pant" money.

Project by Elias Rølvåg Horsgård

Collaborator

Year

2023

Duration

9 weeks

Type

Educational

Collaborator

Year

2023

Duration

9 weeks

Type

Educational

Collaborator

Year

2023

Duration

9 weeks

Type

Educational

TOMRA Takeaway Food Container Collector 200 Liter.

Side view.

Side view.

Back view.

Back view.

Sustainability has been a main focus in this project, both systemically and in the TAFCC machine. Systemically, the implementation of RTFCs saves plastic and reduces litter in urban streets. The TAFCC is designed to be reliable with no screens, printers, or apps, fit into the urban environments with possibilities of customization, and to be easily recognizable to users. It’s also easy to empty through a door on the front by collection crews.

EU regulation is predicted to ban single use plastic containers in the future, and this project is one way of securing TOMRAs position for the future.

the system:

The project suggests the implementation of a deposit/pant system for collecting the food containers as people in Norway are very good at depositing, and there is potential to transfer this tradition to a new situation. I mapped out a system for how this could work, and what role TOMRA could have. See illustration bellow.

Ideally, the lease/rent of the reusable containers would be in the same price range as the singe use containers so that the restaurants would have a reason to pick this option.

The user journey for the service is illustrated bellow:

The product:

How it works:

You would feed the RTFC in from the front, it would go on a conveyer belt and be scanned by sensors to identify the container as a container. Then the machine would swallow the container and toss it in a collection box. See illustration.

Section illustration of the inside of the RVM.

Section illustration of the inside of the RVM.

The final product:

The TOMRA TAFCC is mainly made of sheet metal, and then secured to the ground. The interface is made from hard plastic. It features a trashcan in the front so the user can easily dispose leftover food, cutlery, napkins, and other trash. The machine fits perfectly on half a euro pallet, and I imagine that it would be easy to make the machine twice as big for higher demanding areas. The small machine can fit around 200 liters, and the big one, 400 liters.


The final product:

The TOMRA TAFCC is mainly made of sheet metal, and then secured to the ground. The interface is made from hard plastic. It features a trashcan in the front so the user can easily dispose leftover food, cutlery, napkins, and other trash. The machine fits perfectly on half a euro pallet, and I imagine that it would be easy to make the machine twice as big for higher demanding areas. The small machine can fit around 200 liters, and the big one, 400 liters.

Shape:

The front has an inviting, open chape that clearly indicated that this is where you interact with it. This is due to the interfaces’ rounder over edges and that it is extruded from the main body. The rounded corner also feels friendly and inviting and could be the new direction for TOMRA. I did want the shape to be friendly so that people wouldn’t be skeptical of using it for the first time, and to encourage people to use the service. By having the machine look less like a machine makes it more approachable and identifiable. 

Shape exploration sketches.

Shape exploration sketches.

Shape exploration sketches.

Interaction:

When you come up to the RVM, you scan the container which has an NFC in it, and the RVM will open. When you have inserted all your containers, you tap your credit card to receive the "pant"-money, and the machine will close again. 

The TAFCC has a big scanning area, both for scanning the food container and the card. Using hierarchy to indicate what steps needs to be done first. There are also LED strips pulsating light around the step you are at.

The interface at first person view.

The interface at first person view.

The interface at first person view.

STEP 1: Scan container
The reusable food containers have an NFC chip inside it, which enables you to scan the container on the scanning interface of the RVM. This is to identify that you have a container that you wish to pant.

STEP 2: Insert container
After the machine has recognized the NFC in the food container, the machine will open, and you insert how many containers you have. You don’t need to scan every container when the machine is already open as there will be sensors inside the machine that recognize the containers and that won’t accept foreign objects. The machine will also devaluate the food containers through the NFC preventing scammers.

STEP 3: Tap credit card
When you have inserted all the containers, you tap you credit card on the highlighted surface to receive the pant. You can also use apple pay, smart watched etc. as well. When the transfer is complete, the LED-strip will turn green, and you will hear a little confirmation sound.

Sequence of how to use the RVM.

Location of opening:

By having the opening to the machine on the bend, it is inviting when it is open, and you don’t have to put you hand inside the machine. Instead, there is more space from above, which makes it more pleasant to use. The opening will open automatically, and now you have a machine you can interact with without having to touch it. 

Sequence of how to use the RVM.

Sequence of how to use the RVM.

Sequence of how to use the RVM.

The back of the TAFCC:

The backside can be customized to fit into different spaces while keeping its characteristics. It can be used to fit in, to stand out, to advertise or to do promotion or campaigns on.

Examples of backside graphics.

Emptying the machine:

There are also secondary users of the machine, the ones that will empty it frequently. To make the access easy and to not limit the placement of the machine, the machine has a door on the front. The trash can will swing open with the door, and the box with takeaway food containers can be slid out on rails. You will then need to take the bag with the containers out of the box and put in a new one, similarly to how you change a devalued deposit bottle bag. This is also something that would need to be developed further.

It is based on these findings that I decided to focus on collecting the takeaway food containers in public space. More specifically in parks and squares, and in public transport hubs. Since the accessibility is a problem for the deposit bottles outside, it is a good idea to have smaller machines for the takeaway food containers that is placed frequently, rather than centrally located big machines. 

Swing the door open.

Swing the door open.

Swing the door open.

Slide out the RTFC container.

Slide out the RTFC container.

Slide out the RTFC container.

Insights / background

Reusable food containers:

EU regulation is moving towards banning all single use plastics in the future, and it is important for TOMRA to be proactive. According to a report Eunomia did for TOMRA, there is good potential to reduce GHG emissions by switching to a reuse-system (Eunomia, 2023, s.14). And, recycling single use containers is not as efficient when the containers are dirty according to Grønt Punkt Norge (Grønt Punkt Norge, 2013). Having this in mind, reusable takeaway food containers is a valid solution in the future.

Figure 1: Singleuse vs reusable takeaway packaging, 2023.

Figure 1: Singleuse vs reusable takeaway packaging, 2023.

Figure 1: Singleuse vs reusable takeaway packaging, 2023.

Key finding:

Conducting a workshop (8 participants), I discovered that people eat most takeaway food at home, in parks and when traveling. It also happens to be in these areas that Norway's traditional deposit system struggles according to a survey I conducted (50+ responses).

This correlates with where much of the litter in Oslo is found. According to a report from Hold Norge Rent, squares and streets see some of the highest numbers of littering (Hold Norge Rent, 2020). 

It is based on these findings that I decided to focus on collecting the takeaway food containers in public space. More specifically in parks and squares, and in public transport hubs. Since the accessibility is a problem for the deposit bottles outside, it is a good idea to have smaller machines for the takeaway food containers that is placed frequently, rather than centrally located big machines. 

Key finding:

Conducting a workshop (8 participants), I discovered that people eat most takeaway food at home, in parks and when traveling. It also happens to be in these areas that Norways traditional deposit system struggles according to a survey I conducted (50+ responses).

This correlates with where much of the litter in Oslo is found. According to a report from Hold Norge Rent, squares and streets see some of the highest numbers of littering (Hold Norge Rent, 2020).

Figure 1: Singleuse vs reusable takeaway packaging, 2023.

Figure 1: Singleuse vs reusable takeaway packaging, 2023.

Figure 1: Singleuse vs reusable takeaway packaging, 2023.

reusable food containers:

I quickly made some rough sketches of the 5 different containers I imagine would exist. These are based on the many existing single use containers used today. These would need to be designed further, thinking about opening mechanisms, cleaning, stackability, identity etc., but that’s out of scope for this project. It would be reasonable to think that they would have a rough size around 25cm x 15cm x 10cm and be made from a plastic material. 

Reusable takeaway food container concept.

Reusable takeaway food container concept.

Reusable takeaway food container concept.

Final model:

Handmade 1:1 model of the TAFCC 200 in Styrofoam.

Front view.

Front view.

Front view.

Back view.

Back view.

Back view.

Bonus material:

Interface and opening mechanism testing:

Interace mockups.

Version 1.

Version 1.

Version 1.

Version 2.

Version 2.

Version 2.

Version 3.

Version 3.

Version 3.

Sources:

  • TOMRA. (2023, 12. juni). TOMRA and Aarhus City enter collaboration to create innovative reuse system. TOMRA. https://www.tomra.com/news-and-media/news/2023/tomra-and-aarhus-city-enter-collaboration-to-create-innovative-reuse-system 

  • Geitung, I. & Lystad, H. (2023). Kartlegging av forsøpling i Oslo kommune (rapportnr: 2-2023). Norwaste. https://norwaste.no/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/2_2023-Prosjektrapport-Kartlegging-av-forsopling-i-Oslo-kommune.pdf 

  • Montalk, J. (2021, 17. juni). Takeaway containers among top ocean litter items. Healthy food. https://www.healthyfood.com/news/takeaway-containers-among-top-ocean-litter-items/#:~:text=Plastic%20items%20from%20take%2Dout,44%20percent%20of%20marine%20litter. 

  • Eunomia. (2023). Assessing Climate Impact: Reusable Systems vs. Single-use Takeaway Packaging. (na). Zero Waste Europe, TOMRA & Reloop. https://zerowasteeurope.eu/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Assessing-the-Climate-Impact-Reusable-systems-vs.-Single-Use-Takeaway-Packaging-v-2.2.pdf 

  • Grønt Punkt Norge. (2013, 15.oktober). Ketsjuprester ødelegger for gjenvinningen. Grønt punkt Norge. https://www.grontpunkt.no/aktuelt/nyheter/ketsjuprester-oedelegger-for-gjenvinningen

  • Hold Norge Rent (2020, mars). Konklusjonsrapport Kartlegging av forsøpling Oslo commune 2019. https://holdnorgerent.no/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Kartlegging-Oslo-kommune-2019_Konklusjonsrapport.pdf 

Contact

Do not hesitate to reach out, whether it's big or small, I'll be happy to hear from you!

Currently, I keep my eyes open for opportunities in Brussels and surrounding areas. I recently finished my diploma, and I will be happy to tell you a thing or two about a heat pump :)

eliasrh@hotmail.no

Contact

Do not hesitate to reach out, whether it's big or small, I'll be happy to hear from you!

Currently, I keep my eyes open for opportunities in Brussels and surrounding areas. I recently finished my diploma, and I will be happy to tell you a thing or two about a heat pump :)

eliasrh@hotmail.no