Norway-based Tomra Sorting Recycling reports U.S. consumers redeemed more than 2 billion used beverage containers though its reverse vending machines (RVMs) in 2018. RVMs collect beverage containers for recycling and prevent them from entering oceans and landfills, the company says in a news release.
When a plastic bottle is returned to an RVM, the material is protected from contamination from other types of municipal solid waste (MSW). The bottle maintains its "food-grade status and can be turned back into another plastic bottle" in what Tomra calls “clean loop recycling.”
“Tomra’s RVMs collected more than 40 billion cans and bottles globally last year and the U.S. contributed billions to that total,” remarks Ernie Argenio, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Tomra North America. “With plastic pollution top of mind for many consumers and businesses, we are proud to offer a circular solution for the material used in beverage containers. We are constantly innovating new reverse vending technology and consumer engagement programs to encourage the responsible redemption of bottles and cans, and these numbers reflect that mission.”
Up from 35 billion containers in 2017, the increased participation in redeeming beverage containers “reflects the world’s growing concern about plastic pollution,” the release says.
Tomra says the company plans to hire 2,000 new employees over the next two years to “meet demand for deposit system expertise.”