Dr. Volker Rehrmann: Two operations in Norway (IVAR and ROAF) are in 1st and 2nd place in terms of the amount of plastics recovered from all municipalities in Norway. Additionally, some areas that added MWS to their waste management system more than doubled the amount of packaging that was collected. Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, increased the amount by 12 times – most likely because this area has many multi-family homes and much of the material was simply being lost.
From TOMRA's point of view, what can municipalities and waste management companies do to improve the collection results for plastics?
Dr. Volker Rehrmann: We see that the collection rates in source separation schemes reach saturation. Although we trust that educational campaigns can improve the situation, it will most likely not be enough to make a change. Only mixed waste sorting can enable this change and capture more recyclable materials.
Referring back to the initial question: What solutions does TOMRA offer to improve the bottom line in plastics recycling?
Dr. Volker Rehrmann: On the one hand, it is our technology. On the other hand, it’s our collaborative approach. We work across the plastics value chain to find and implement effective solutions as quickly as possible. This kind of collaboration is relatively new, but we have all realized that if we want to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy, each of us must play our part. A clear example of this is the advanced mechanical recycling demonstration plant in Lahnstein. Here, we were able to work with our partners to bring existing technology and know-how together to produce high-quality recyclate from both source separated and mixed waste. It turns out that the quality from both sources is exactly the same. This means that regardless of the source, we can produce what the market needs. Now.
The interview has exclusively been published in the October edition of Entsorga.