Tomra celebrates 50th anniversary

Tomra, a global provider of collection and sorting systems, celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Photo: Tomra

Each of the group’s four divisions – Collection, Food, Recycling and Mining – marked the milestone by declaring a collective mission for the future to “transform how we all obtain, use and reuse the planet’s resources to enable a world without waste.”

Tove Andersen, Tomra’s president and chief executive officer, explained: “We live in a world that needs big transformation. We urgently need to improve sustainability, develop the circular economy, and make more efficient use of resources – challenges which TOMRA’s solutions can help address.

“Fifty years after its humble beginnings, Tomra can be proud of the fact that it is a highly respected global market leader. This is living proof of our ability to adapt, innovate, and provide the solutions our customers really need. This is also a time to look forward because we are now opening the chapter in Tomra’s story where we step up our role leading the resource revolution.”

Tomra was founded in Norway on April 1, 1972 by brothers Petter and Tore Planke. After seeing a local grocer struggle with the manual collection of empty bottles in their store, the brothers developed the first fully-automated reverse vending machine (RVM) in their family’s garage. This invention was groundbreaking for recycling processes and its concept is used today around the world.

Over the years, Tomra’s technology expanded to include advanced sorting systems for the food, recycling, and mining industries. These innovative solutions optimize resource recovery and minimize waste for a more sustainable future – benefitting businesses, governments, consumers and our environment.

Tove added: “Transformation is at the heart of everything Tomra does. Tomra transforms ideas and technology to create intelligent and pioneering tools. We transform companies into more profitable, sustainable businesses and transform how the world’s resources are obtained, used, and reused, which also helps transform people’s everyday lives.”

Today, Tomra employs more than 4,600 people around the world and has annual sales of €1bn. Committed to innovation, 20 percent of the group’s workforce and eight percent of its revenues are dedicated to research and development. To meet Tomra’s ambition to have increased global recycling collection to 40 percent and increased plastics in closed-loop systems to 30 percent by 2030, the company plans to continue its growth and increase headcount. The expansion will explore new business opportunities, develop solutions to mitigate climate change, and in doing so, preserve natural resources for future generations.

Tom Eng, senior vice president and head of Tomra Recycling, said: “We continue to innovate and support our customers in achieving their business goals as well as those set by legislation. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we would like to recognize our customers and partners that made our long-standing success possible.” Digital transformation is at the heart of the company’s vision for the future with TOMRA Insight, a cloud-based data analysis platform with remote service capability. It offers recyclers a state-of-the-art approach to improve sorting performance and reduce operating costs.

Tomra Recycling is a leading global supplier of sensor-based sorting solutions and connected digital services that transform waste into valuable secondary raw materials. The company has installed over 8,200 sorting units for waste and metal recycling in more than 100 countries worldwide. Designed and built to maximize recycling yields, TOMRA machines can be put to the test at any of its seven test centers worldwide.

Renown in the industry for outstanding performance and precision, Tomra sorting systems help close the loop for metals, plastics, paper, packaging, glass and much more. With its newest generation AUTOSORT®, recyclable materials are effortlessly sorted from even the most complex mixed waste streams. The multifunctional sorting system has made an evolutionary jump over the years with its complementary technologies, giving recyclers more operational flexibility to meet the demands of a dynamic marketplace.

Sensor-based sorting technology plays a significant role in enabling a world without waste, diverting valuable resources from incineration or landfills. With sorting systems that redefine machine capability and set new standards in performance, Tomra Recycling is a trusted leader in the industry. The company’s in-house team of sorting experts, mechanical engineers, application specialists and software developers aim to provide even more advanced solutions in the future to mitigate the world’s resource crisis.


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