There is still more to be done to close the loop in PET beverage containers field and Tomra aims at playing a key role in this context. The company considers that political framework, bold decisions and smart investments in collecting, sorting and recycling should be used to improve circularity across all material streams and to overcome today’s supply chain bottlenecks.
“We have an obligation to work with all stakeholders to reduce the mountains of waste and transform them into the valuable resources they are”, Tomra’s CEO and President Tove Andersen (picture on the left) stated at Tomra’s press conference held at recent Ifat 2022, the trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management. Although there has been considerable progress in recycling, the pandemic and the ongoing war in Europe have shown us that there is an urgency to decrease dependency on primary materials. “Today, we invest approximately 10% of our revenues in future-oriented activities to increase resource efficiency, advancing the market for circular solutions, which we are well-positioned to do. We have the technology capable of maximizing collection and recovery rates. We can act now, optimize waste management practices and fill existing gaps”, concluded Andersen.
Having established benchmarks for climate policy worldwide, the European Green Deal, coupled with binding regulations and guidelines for producers and manufacturers, drive the acceleration to a circular economy. Tomra urges all participants in the value chain to see these specifications as an opportunity and to support their implementation. “We have learned that mandatory legislation is necessary in order to achieve goals and create markets,” Volker Rehrmann (in the centre in the photo below), EVP and Head of Tomra Recycling/Mining and Circular Economy, explained. “However, before we can recycle larger volumes we need to collect as much as possible. There are well-functioning collection systems in place, but it is still not enough. Every day we lose valuable resources to landfill and incineration where they are buried and burned. This is low-hanging fruit and the material must be collected, recovered and recycled.”
Maximizing material circularity is not restricted to plastics. There are more material streams to close the loop on, such as metals and wood. “We must pay equal attention to these recyclables to support reaching the EU’s climate neutrality goals set for 2050”, said Tom Eng (on the right in the picture below), SVP and Head of Tomra Recycling. “If we leverage the power of intelligent technologies and closely work with the industry, we can turn waste into value and reduce the dependency on primary materials. Recycling is a key climate mitigator and energy-efficient route to go when supporting a sustainable transition, keeping materials in continuous use. Whatever it takes to close the loop, we will get there”, finished Eng.