Italy leader of increasingly sustainable vending machines

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Few people know that in the field of automatic distribution, or vending, Italy is an international leader, both in terms of the number of “machines” installed and therefore in terms of use – one in two Italians choose them for their coffee break – and in terms of production. of the same. There are more than 3,000 vending companies in Italy, with an induced employment of over 30,000 people, and about 70% of the made in Italy production is exported abroad.

Although, as can be imagined, lockdowns and smart working have had important consequences for this sector, with a -31.9% of sales in 2020 compared to 2019, the pandemic has been, and is, an opportunity to rethink even more sustainable and to develop systems to guarantee a higher quality of service to the consumer.

Those who think that vending machines are synonymous with unhealthy food or a system that has an extremely impact on the environment, both in terms of packaging and impact on transport, should think again. Massimo Trapletti, president of Confida Italian Automatic Distribution Association, focuses on quality, ecological transition and digital transition as keys to relaunch the sector.

The first initiative promoted is called “Sustainable Vending”: it collects all the best practices in the field of sustainability and is accompanied by an award to the Italian municipality that has conceived and implemented the best sustainable development project applied to the world of vending machines. The award is promoted as part of the “Cresco Award – Sustainable Cities” organized by the Sodalitas Foundation and Anci National Association of Italian Municipalities. The second, conceived together with Corepla and Unionplast, is RiVending, a “closed cycle” for the recovery and recycling of plastic cups and stirrers for vending machines, compliant with the requirements of the European Union with a view to an efficient circular economy.

Already over 8 thousand RiVending baskets have been installed throughout Italy in companies, schools, universities, public offices to collect and recycle the plastic from the packaging of products dispensed by vending machines: an important contribution on the path towards an increasingly sustainable vending. Furthermore, alongside traditional products, vending has recently expanded its offer to new products such as organic drinks, zero-sugar drinks, organic and gluten-free snacks, 0 km and fair trade products. sector in a clear economic transition path is crucial.

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