Founded in 2019 by Nathan Misischi and Dr Dexmont Pena, Dublin-based Sensi is the only Irish provider of Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) for Ireland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).
Serial technology entrepreneur Seamus Devitt was an early investor in Sensi and is now its chief executive officer.
He believes that the only proven way to achieve the recycling rates required by global and EU regulations is through a government regulated DRS.
“Ireland’s DRS is set to be implemented in February 2024, so this national DRS will drive increased demand for RVMs,” he says.
“Sensi offer the smallest sized and the highest capacity ratio RVM that meets regulatory requirements (is DRS-compliant) at an affordable price, making Sensi RVMs the perfect choice for small to medium sized retail stores, convenience shops and forecourts.”
Sensi has won multiple awards for its reverse vending technology, including from Qualcomm, Climate KIC, Circuléire, EPA Green Enterprise, PwC – NetZero Future 50, Spark Crowdfunding and Enterprise Ireland.
“Sensi’s proprietary technology enables us to offer a new disruptive Smart RVM that will shake up the traditional RVM market,” says Seamus.
“Our world first Smart RVM features advanced visual recognition technology. The key advantage of our Smart RVM is that our proprietary Visual AI software allows us to simplify the hardware elements of the machine, relative to our competitors. In each case, a virtually uncontaminated stream of material is guaranteed. Our solution can be used for Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) and also in pre-DRS scenarios where digital rewards can be issued in place of digital refunds. Uniquely, our solution can be trained to work with many other recyclable and reusable items.”
A Global Problem
Low recycling rates for plastics and other beverage containers are creating significant economic and environmental costs. This is prompting new regulations worldwide, which are aimed at increasing the global circularity rate (currently stuck at 9%.)
An example of these regulations is the EU Directive requiring a separate plastics collection rate of 90% by 2029.
This is driving increased demand for RVMs.
Government regulated Deposit Return Schemes - where a deposit (typically 20c) is placed on beverage containers, for example on plastic bottles and aluminium cans, are being adopted in many countries, particularly across Europe and North America.
“We estimate a total global market for RVMs in 2023 to be $450 million, growing at between 7% and 10% CAGR over the next six years, for a total market in this period of about $3 billion,” says Seamus.
“We are concentrated on the sector for multi- functional RVMs of low/medium capacity level in Europe and North America.”
Supporting Irish Retailers
The use of RVMs will be a mandatory requirement for many retailers when regulations are in force, so Sensi’s immediate focus is on helping a significant percentage of the Irish DRS/RVM market to comply with these regulations in as efficient and cost- effective manner as possible.
“In Ireland, the estimated market size is 1,700 RVMs for convenience stores and 900 larger RVMs for larger supermarkets for a total market size of €70 million (Source: Eunomia Report, November 2019),” says Seamus.
“Sensi is targeting the convenience store market and, as the only Irish-based manufacturer of RVMs, we are uniquely positioned to win a good share of this market. Our plans beyond that will focus on global markets where they are set to introduce Deposit Return Schemes. For example, England, Wales and Northern Ireland are set to introduce their schemes in 2024 and 2025.”