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TOMRA and Plastretur Sign Joint Venture to Create Norway’s First Dedicated Sorting Plant to Enable Circularity of Plastic Packaging

7 Jun 2023  |
The global sustainable technology company TOMRA has signed a majority ownership agreement with Plastretur, the Norwegian producer responsibility organization responsible for recycling plastic packaging. The companies will pair up to create a plastic packaging sorting plant located in Norway. The 50M EUR (~600MNOK) joint venture will be split 65 percent TOMRA and 35 percent Plastretur.

In 2020, Plastretur initiated the ambitions to set up sorting infrastructure within Norway, as plastic packaging waste from Norway is currently being sent to Central Europe. Since TOMRA is an expert in the design of advanced sorting facilities and has a broad knowledge of creating circular solutions to enable recycling, Plastretur considered TOMRA as the obvious partner to support them in their vision to contribute to the Norwegian circular economy for plastics and to help achieve future recycling targets.

The investment is part of TOMRA’s strategy to build profitable businesses adjacent to the core divisions focused on solving problems our planet is facing using TOMRA’s extensive core knowledge and technology. This TOMRA investment will specifically seek to close the gap in plastics recycling where there is a strong and growing demand from recyclers for high-quality plastic fractions. “I am thrilled to be working on this initiative, which will play a key role in transitioning Norway’s plastic packaging into a circular economy,” says Joachim N. Amland, SVP TOMRA Feedstock. “We are recovering material that would have been lost to incineration, and using our existing TOMRA technology, providing it to the market at very high quality, which has been missing until now.”

This will be the first dedicated plastic packaging sorting plant in Norway, accepting municipal-sourced separated and mechanically recovered mixed plastic waste. The plastics will be sorted into 7 types of plastic which will be processed into high-quality fractions that are ready to be used to produce new packaging and other high-quality products. In the new venture, Plastretur will continue to take responsibility for sourcing plastic packaging waste from Norwegian municipalities, trade and industry, and deliver this to the plant as input. TOMRA will be responsible for grading the fractions based on type and selling the plastic output.

“On behalf of Plastretur, I am proud that our initiative to build a Norwegian plastic sorting plant, is being realized,” states CEO of Plastretur, Karl Johan Ingvaldsen. “The plant will be the cornerstone in building the national infrastructure needed to reach future recycling targets. With this plant we are taking a major part in building a Norwegian plastic recycling industry and reducing the cross-border transport of waste.”

The total sorting capacity planned for the new site will be 90,000 tons of plastics per year and it will be built in Holtskogen Næringspark, Indre Østfold Holtskogen, Norway (near Oslo). The capital investment consists primarily of machinery and equipment. The groundbreaking is planned to take place in mid-2023 and the plant is scheduled to be commissioned in Q4 2024 and to be fully operational by Q1 2025.

“We must transform towards a circular economy now,” says Tove Andersen, TOMRA President and CEO. “That means working together across the value chain to find solutions as quickly as possible, because the solutions are there. This joint venture is proof that this is possible and TOMRA is proud to play a key role in it.”

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