Septembert, 2019 - Tomra Sorting Recycling will be at the K-Show 2019 (Hall 11 / F17), promoting its position in the circular economy, including sorting equipment like the recently introduced Innosort Flake and an innovation in the fields of Artificial Intelligence.
Over the last decades, resources have been exploited recklessly to satisfy civilization’s infinite demand for resources and virgin products, leading to resources becoming rare and under unprecedented pressure. Particularly, plastic finds itself in focus with its usage being questioned. At present, around 40% of plastic packaging is sent to landfill, 32% ends up in nature as litter and 8 million tons of plastic are swept into the oceans, amounting to an annual loss of between 80 and 120 billion dollars’ worth of materials. Reconsidering the way resources are obtained, used and reused is a major cornerstone for overcoming the barrier of limited resource availability.
Tomra proposes stepping back from linear models and aligning with the reuse models of a truly circular economy. Unlike the currently dominant linear economy as per which products are made and thrown away after consumption, the circular economy targets the recovery of materials, which are efficiently brought back into the supply chain for being transformed into new products. Once consumed, products are not littered but collected by deposit systems, by curbside collection or by MRF sorting plants which sort diverse material for the subsequent recycling process.
Following this concept, resources are kept in the loop while maintaining virgin like quality and extracting a maximum of the product’s value. Thus, waste is turned into value.
With the circular economy being a topic of considerable debate in the industry, systematic approaches are already being discussed to stimulate the change. New legislation mandating an improvement of recycling rates, market pulls and consumers demanding more sustainable products prove supportive in transforming theory into practice. Additional solutions are seen in the promotion of plastics collection, in stopping leakage through infrastructure and deposit systems as well as in manufacturing products that are regenerative and restorative by design.
In effect, these would be ideal solutions and processes that can only be realized with all stakeholders participating in the efforts for a healthy environment and a sustainable, thriving economy.
Tomra sees itself as a stakeholder and driver of this transformation to take place by promoting the circular economy through advanced collection and sorting systems that optimize resource recovery and minimize waste. Its sensor-based sorting solutions, such as Autosort, Autosort Flake and Innosort Flake, are solutions heading the sorting and reprocessing process within the plastic value chain.
Volker Rehrmann, Executive Vice-President Tomra Recycling & Mining and Head of Tomra Circular Economy, states: “Continuing using our resources in an unsustainable and inefficient way should no longer be an option. At Tomra, we take this global problem seriously and continuously develop new sorting solutions. At this year’s K-Show, we will give an understanding of the circular economy and the role Tomra and its products play in there.”
Displayed at K-Show, the Innosort Flake is an example of purifying the recycling process. Since its launch at PRS Europe in Amsterdam in April 2019, it has shown to be a suitable dual-sorting solution for plastic recovery facilities, sorting plastic fractions from 2 to 12 mm by color and simultaneously by polymer types, Tomra claims. Thus, vast proportions of contaminants can be removed and the potential loss of PET flake material significantly be reduced, the company assures.
According to Tomra, this system has ultra-high resolution and specialized sensor configuration and is an economically favorable sorting solution providing
a quick return on investment and scalable flexibility.
Besides delivering sorting machines, Tomra also focus on developing innovations advancing the sorting process even more.
Based on the current possibilities to collect and manage large amounts of data and artificial intelligence strongly surfacing, Tomra goes ahead with the development of a deep learning software for sensor-based sorting.
As a subset of machine learning and artificial intelligence, the deep learning software is in a position to learn individually from a sizeable amount of collected data, equaling or even outperforming sorting results achieved by humans and common machines. With the combination of deep learning models and sorting solutions, objects that could previously not be separated can now be sorted with high purity levels, Tomra says. In this regard, deep learning is considered as a promising approach when it comes to addressing the increasing challenges in waste sorting, such as new waste streams, objects being detected but not successfully ejected or covered by other materials.
At K-Show, team Tomra will be on hand each day to provide trade visitors with information on the circular economy concept and the contribution its machines can make in the recycling process.
Tomra Sorting Recycling designs and manufactures sensor-based sorting technologies for the global recycling and waste management industry. Over 6,000 systems have been installed in almost 80 countries worldwide. Responsible for developing the world’s first high-capacity near infrared (NIR) sensor for waste sorting applications, Tomra Sorting Recycling is part of Tomra Sorting Solutions which also develops sensor-based systems for sorting, peeling and process analytics for the food, mining and other industries.
Tomra Sorting is owned by Norwegian company Tomra Systems ASA, which is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Founded in 1972, Tomra Systems ASA has a turnover of around €876m and employs ~4,000 globally.