The Future is Refillable – Next Gen Smart Dispensers

Globally, over 300,000,00 tons of plastic is produced each year with only 10% to 15% recycled. Innovative packaging-free solutions that reduce the total amount of plastic created has become critical in the fight against pollution.

Global retail specialist Smollan is focusing on the future of Greentech, and packageless retail as strategic components of the future of retail. Recent investments include Mr Green Africa in Kenya and more recently developing Smartfill dispensers in partnership with dY/dX, a leading transformation consultancy.

This next generation packaging-free smart dispenser not only addresses the issue of creating less packaging but allows consumers to purchase as much or as little of a product as they desire. This increases affordability for basic food and hygiene items feeding into Sustainable Development Goal 2 by achieving food security for all.

“The Smartfill dispenser focuses on the $400-billion FMCG packaging challenge by providing a data platform that integrates hardware and software layers to enable packageless logistics and retail. It’s incredibly exciting as this will enable connected, eco-friendly stores of the future. We are spinning this innovation into its own start-up business, to enable the investment potential this opportunity strategically provides Smollan,” said Rudi Nienaber, Head of Innovation at Smollan.

The dispenser solves key retail challenges such as providing consumers with an enhanced packageless experience, reduced retailer cost of management, improved logistics and access to valuable shopper data in real time – all in a secure loT environment. Consumers are able to purchase the quantity they need and take their purchases away in their own container; have the option to use low-cost biodegradable paper bags or purchase a reusable container. The dispenser shows customers their purchase amount on a screen with the same sensors providing real time stock levels to both the store and the manufacturer, simplifying restocking and distribution.

“Trends suggest that packaging-free retail is set to grow rapidly to meet demand around affordability and a consumer preference for brands with circular characteristics. We are investing heavily in this growing sector to create influential opportunities for brands and profitability for retail outlets. Being able to offer an affordable, personalised shopping experience that in turn contributes to making a positive social impact to reduce environmental packaging in the mainstream market, is an area of the new economy that makes sense for us. Collaborating with our partners in FMCG and retail supply chains we are confident that the Smartfill dispenser will grow rapidly,” said Michael Smollan, Chief Growth and Innovation Officer at Smollan.

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