Germany-based TOMRA Sorting Recycling has promoted Business Development Engineer László Székely to the newly created post of Head of New Plastics Economy. TOMRA says the appointment reinforces its “commitment to the aims of the New Plastics Economy (NPE), and will steer progress toward objectives [that] are differentiated from the company’s other business development activities.”
TOMRA says its NPE team will work to encourage the sorting and recycling of post-consumer plastics such as polyolefins and styrenes, “to change the widespread practice of burning such materials or sending them to landfill.” The sorting technology company says it will work with packaging producers to help make packaging more widely recyclable; to reduce the reliance of packaging production on raw materials; and to contribute to the drive for upgrading post-consumer plastics, “so that there is greater use of recycled rather than virgin materials.”
Székely joined the TOMRA brand TITECH (rebranded later as TOMRA Sorting Recycling) in 2012 after completing studies in waste management and contaminated site treatment at the Technische Universität Dresden, in Germany. Serving as a Business Development Engineer, he was TOMRA’s “segment champion” for applications capable of sorting glass from other materials, with joint responsibility for development of the AutoSort Laser glass sorting unit. He also was involved in the planning and construction of the first two automatic MSW (municipal solid waste) sorting plants in Hungary and assisted two consumer products brands with the upgrading of post-consumer polypropylene. Since 2017, Székely has been involved in projects focusing on post-consumer polyolefin packaging, PET trays and working with packaging and converter businesses.
“I am delighted that my dedication and expertise have been recognized in this way, because progress toward the New Plastic Economy is so important,” says Székely. “I was really excited when I joined TOMRA, because I admired the company for being a technical pioneer and market leader, and seven years later I am still hugely excited by this company’s innovative spirit.”
TOMRA’s NPE work will also involve Jürgen Priesters, vice president and head of business development Recycling, and Business Development Engineer Charlotte Glassneck.
The vision of the New Plastics Economy, which applies principles of the circular economy, was created by the London-based Ellen MacArthur Foundation with three ambitions: to create an effective after-use plastics economy by improving the economics and uptake of recycling, reuse and controlled biodegradation for targeted applications; to drastically reduce leakage of plastics into natural systems (especially the ocean) and other negative impacts; and to decouple plastics from fossil feedstocks. Although these aims were launched in 2016 as a three-year initiative, they have “built a momentum [that] will inspire action for many years to come,” according to TOMRA.
TOMRA Sorting Recycling is part of TOMRA Sorting Solutions, which is owned by Norway-based TOMRA Systems ASA. Founded in 1972, TOMRA Systems ASA has annual sales of about €750 million ($850 million) and employs more than 3,500 people.