Plastic waste was top of the agenda at the prestigious World Circular Economy Forum this week. TOMRA’s President and CEO, Stefan Ranstrand, presented at the invitation-only event and debated in a panel on solving the plastics waste crisis.
Held in Helsinki, Finland, from June 3-5, the World Circular Economy Forum is an exclusive annual event organised by the Finnish Innovation Fund, which brings together key circular economy influencers from around the world.
This year, hundreds of representatives from business and government gathered to collaborate on innovations and ideas to achieve a circular economy.
Stefan was very pleased to participate in the panel discussion on “plastics and a circular bio-economy.” He was joined by three leading thinkers from Finnish renewable products provider Kotkamills and technical research centre VTT, as well as the Chinese Reuse and Recycling Association.
During the discussion, Stefan shed a light on the plastic waste crisis currently facing the world and explored the impact that collaborative action and innovative technology can make. There are huge financial, social and environmental opportunities to be found in “closing the loop” on plastics and creating a circular economy.
Presenting to delegates at the World Circular Economy Forum, Stefan said: “Plastic is undoubtedly the workhorse material of the modern economy. It has unrivalled functionality and is cheap to produce, but as its popularity continues to rise so does the amount of waste and pollution.”
“Plastics are a major source of waste in landfills. Every year eight tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean, meaning there are 150 tonnes in the ocean today and by 2050 there is estimated to be more plastic in the ocean than fish, by weight.”
“TOMRA’s sensor-based solutions are helping to stem this tide and have a positive effect around the world. Our reverse vending machines collect 40 billion containers globally, and our sorting technology efficiently sorts mixed waste, reducing landfill pollution and creating economic opportunities.”
“However, in order to truly make an impact on the current plastic waste crisis, businesses and governments must collaborate to stop plastics leaking into and polluting the environment. With around 95 per cent of plastic packaging material value lost to the economy, we need to unlock this economic potential and unleash up to $85bn into the global economy each year.”
Stefan concluded by setting out TOMRA’s ambitious vision for increasing closed-loop recycling. He added: “Currently only two percent of plastic packaging is closed-loop recycled. We want this to be 30 percent by 2030.”
“We believe this can be achieved, in large part through smart solutions for optimizing resources. Sourcing them, stewarding them, reclaiming them, recycling and revitalizing them. To make the most effective use of our resources and ensure protect the planet for years to come.”
For more insights from TOMRA on the resource revolution, visit: https://www.tomra.com/en/about-us/our-mission.