Tomra celebrates 50 years of developing sorting and collection systems

Tomra, the global  provider of advanced collection and sorting systems, has confirmed an ambitious  new mission to “transform how we all obtain, use and reuse the planet’s resources to enable a world without waste,” as it marks its 50th anniversary today, writes Neill Barston.

The business, is seeking to pay heightened focus on resource optimisation, and has devised a number of key systems across the food and drink sector, including developing systems for the confectionery and snacks segments.

To fight plastic waste, Tomra has an ambition to enable 40% of plastic packaging produced globally to be collected for recycling by 2030. Currently, only 14% of all the world’s plastic packaging is captured for recycling, with just 2% recycled in a “closed loop” (recycled for the same purpose, without being downgraded to lower quality plastic).

The company has also set the goal to collect 500 billion containers annually for Clean Loop Recycling, the company’s version of closed-loop recycling, so they can become new bottles and cans, again and again. This reduces reliance on raw materials in the production of new containers, and ensures fewer containers end up in our streets, oceans and landfills.

Originally, Tomra was founded in Norway on April 1, 1972 by brothers Petter and Tore Planke (pictured below). After seeing a local grocer struggle with the manual collection of empty bottles in their store, which consumers returned for reuse, the brothers developed the first fully-automated reverse vending machine in their family’s garage. This invention was quickly embraced by retailers and spawned an entire industry for efficiently handling the return and recycling of deposit beverage containers, also setting the company as an early pioneer in the green-tech wave.

Tove Andersen, President & CEO of Tomra, said: “We live in a world that needs big transformation. We urgently need to accelerate the circular economy and make more efficient use of resources – opportunities that TOMRA’s solutions can help address. Tomra has a fifty-year heritage of innovation and impact, with the proven solutions our customers – and the planet – really need. These past fifty years have prepared us to rise to the most pressing challenge of our time: reinventing the way the world manages waste. We strive to lead the resource revolution, and our team of resource revolutionaries around the world are up to the challenge.”

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