Germany-based TOMRA Sorting Recycling hosted a global conference in mid-October 2017 at its TOMRA Leads event designed “to share insights from leading experts in recycling and waste management and to demonstrate the company’s breakthroughs in sensor-based sorting machines.”
With the theme “Future Perspectives in Recycling,” the two-day event featured a series of presentations and group discussions at the Rhein-Mosel Congress Centre in Koblenz, Germany, and technical demonstrations in TOMRA’s Test Center at its European headquarters in Koblenz. Participants included an international mix of recyclers, consultants, policy makers and members of the recycling trade media.
“By bringing together some of the world’s most knowledgeable experts in recycling and waste management, this conference stimulated a fantastic exchange of ideas,” says Tom Eng, senior vice president and head of TOMRA Sorting Solutions, Recycling. “Delegates gained new insights into everything from high-level environmental ideals to nitty-gritty technical practicalities. We are delighted to have received so much strong positive feedback, with many participants telling us they found the event informative and inspirational. It’s exciting for all of us to be at the heart of an industry heading toward an inventive and environmentally important future.”
The event included presentations and question-and-answer sessions focusing on the circular economy at a time when the environmental responsibility of retail brands is having an increasing influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions. Helga Vanthournout, senior expert at the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, talked about the circular economy’s impacts on business; George Kremlis of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment gave a presentation on an EU action plan for the circular economy; and Tom Eng shared advice on achieving readiness for the circular economy.
Attendees also had the opportunity to see two of TOMRA’s newest sorting devices in action at TOMRA´s Test Center: the new Autosort Laser, designed to separate thin, thick or opaque glass from municipal solid waste (MSW), and the Autosort Black, designed to sort black plastic packaging materials. The Autosort Black will be available for sale in early 2018.
Presentations and discussions about the bigger issues of the circular economy were attended by all conference delegates. During other portions of the event, attendees separated into two groups - one with a focus on MSW and nonmetallic, the other with a focus on metal - to attend demonstrations looking at the future challenges facing those sectors.
To achieve sustainability aims, the circular economy will depend not only on ultra-efficient recycling machines, but also the businesses and people who produce and maintain them. That was the subject of a presentation by Peter Geisler, service director recycling, titled “Minimizing downtimes, maximizing profit - it’s all about the service.” Geisler outlined TOMRA Care, a package of services designed to ensure customers experience a tailored service that enables them to achieve maximum return on investment.
Networking opportunities at the two-day event included an “OcTOMRAfest” themed lunch, a sight-seeing tour of Koblenz, a “Network Flying Dinner” at the city’s 18th century Electoral Palace, and a dinner cruise on the Rhine River.
TOMRA Sorting Recycling designs and manufactures sensor-based sorting technologies for the global recycling and waste management industries, with an installation base of some 4,900 systems in 50 countries. It is part of TOMRA Systems ASA, which is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in Norway.