At the Our Ocean conference in Oslo, Norway, TOMRA, a world leader in reverse vending machines and sensor-based sorting systems for the recycling, food and mining industries, announced its commitment to enable 40 percent of plastic packaging produced globally each year to be collected for recycling by 2030.
Currently, only 14 percent of plastic packaging is captured for recycling. And only 2 percent of this is recycled in a closed loop, meaning it can be reused again for the same purpose without being downgraded to lower-quality plastic.
"A circular economy for plastic is achievable, and there is every reason to be optimistic about the future, but it requires investment from industry, government and consumers," said TOMRA President and CEO Stefan Ranstrand in a statement. "TOMRA has been enabling this change through our technology and expertise for more than 45 years—we challenge others to join us and act now.”
TOMRA works with many global brands, plastic producers, converters and recyclers, enabling organizations to improve sustainability and reduce environmental impact through TOMRA’s solutions and knowledge.
"We believe now is the time for bold action on plastic pollution in our oceans," added Ranstrand. "TOMRA is the undisputed world leader in the collection and recycling of plastic packaging, particularly bottles, and we are proud to be leading the industry by launching these ambitious targets. To solve the crisis in our oceans, we must focus on how plastic is produced and handled on land. There is clear evidence that recycling infrastructure such as container deposit schemes drive huge improvements in recycling rates, consumer behaviour and reducing pollution."
By 2025, TOMRA estimates its solutions will sort more than 8 million tons of plastic per year from waste streams at a global level. The company also estimates it will upgrade 2 million tons of plastic to the quality of virgin material. Its reverse vending machines already collect 40 billion used beverage containers every year.
High-profile partnerships that TOMRA has recently entered into include the new global Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which has pledged funds toward solutions to eliminate plastic waste.
The company is also sponsoring and advising an all-female, round-the-world scientific sailing voyage called eXXpedition, which set sail in October with the aim of raising awareness about marine litter.