Waste & Metal Recycling
TOMRA’s Holistic Resource Systems (HRS) approach to waste management, supported by legislation with performance targets and deadlines, is crucial to stop the endless flow of plastic waste worldwide, and close the quantity and quality gaps that undermine the plastics value chain.
The HRS is made up of individual waste management systems that have the power to increase the extraction of valuable materials – keeping them in circulation, and in the market, for as long as possible. The market then has the chance to become less reliant on virgin materials – increasing the resilience of those markets today.
HRS integrates deposit return systems (DRS), which produce much higher plastic collection rates when compared to other separate collections of the same materials, the separate collection of organic, textile, e-waste, paper and glass (also known as source separated recycling or dual stream recycling), and mixed waste sorting (MWS), a previously underutilized process that can rescue finite resources from household waste and create virgin-like recycled plastic. To get the most out of HRS, all three systems are vital.
The decarbonization of numerous industries depends on high-quality feedstock of recycled plastics – namely polyolefins such as PE and PP. As it stands, there isn’t enough high-quality feedstock to meet growing demand. This is what we refer to as the quantity and quality gaps.
Undeniably, more plastic must be collected, sorted, and recycled from waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, incinerators, and littered in the environment. One way to achieve this is via mixed waste sorting (MWS), i.e., the recovery of plastics and other valuables from mixed waste streams. This is already happening at several plants around the world, including Norway, Netherlands, Greece, Poland., and the U.S.
As a pioneer in circular resource management, TOMRA has taken a solutions-oriented approach to plastics through technologies that increase collections and close the loop on the most common polymers produced worldwide. But, mandatory policy principles, such as extended producer responsibility (EPR) are required to ensure high-quality processing.
EPR is a powerful catalyst in financing infrastructure to advance the circularity of plastic. Under EPR, companies (referred to as producers) that place products and packaging on the market are incentivized to choose and manage their products and packaging sustainably.