Plastic Waste : TOMRA and Plastretur plan first plant for plastic packaging sorting in Norway

Advanced Mechanical Recycling Facilities
© Jannik Hammes

Global sustainable technology company TOMRA has signed a majority shareholding agreement with Plastretur, the Norwegian producer responsibility organisation responsible for recycling plastic packaging. The companies will join forces to establish a plastic packaging sorting facility in Norway. The 50 million Euro (~NOK 600 million) joint venture will be split 65 per cent TOMRA and 35 per cent Plastretur.

Recycle locally

In 2020, Plastretur initiated the ambition to establish a sorting infrastructure in Norway, as plastic packaging waste from Norway is currently sent to Central Europe. As TOMRA is an expert in designing advanced sorting facilities and has extensive knowledge in creating circular solutions to enable recycling, Plastretur saw TOMRA as the obvious partner to support them in their vision to contribute to the Norwegian circular economy for plastics and help achieve future recycling targets.

The investment is part of TOMRA's strategy to build profitable businesses adjacent to its core businesses, focused on solving problems facing our planet using TOMRA's extensive core knowledge and technology. TOMRA's investment is specifically aimed at filling 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.”

TOMRA plastic packaging waste sorting plant web

First plant for plastic packaging sorting in Norway

The plant will be the first dedicated plastic packaging sorting facility in Norway, accepting municipal sorted and mechanically recovered mixed plastic waste. The plastics will be sorted into 7 types of plastics, which will be processed into high quality fractions ready to be used in the production of new packaging and other high value products. In the new venture, Plastretur will continue to be responsible for sourcing plastic packaging waste from Norwegian municipalities, trade and industry and delivering it to the plant as input. TOMRA will be responsible for sorting the fractions according to 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.”

Fully operational within two years

The new facility will have a total sorting capacity of 90,000 tonnes of plastics per year and will be located at Holtskogen Næringspark, Indre Østfold Holtskogen, Norway (near Oslo). The investment consists mainly of machinery and equipment. Groundbreaking is scheduled for mid-2023 and the plant is expected to be commissioned in Q4 2024 and 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."

Tove Andersen Tomra
TOMRA President and CEO Tove Andersen - © Tomra