Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

December 6, 2008


Sumitomo Corporation Establishes Joint Venture to Collect and Recycle Beverage Containers

Keywords: Government Non-manufacturing industry Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

On June 24, 2008, Sumitomo Corporation, a major Japanese general trading company, announced that it will establish a new joint venture company, Tomra Japan Corp., together with Norway's Tomra Systems ASA (Tomra). Tomra Japan will collect and recycle beverage containers using reverse vending machines (RVMs) and plans to spread the advanced RVM technology developed by Tomra, the biggest supplier in the RVM industry, leveraging Sumitomo's nationwide network.

In addition to sales of RVMs, Tomra Japan plans to provide a total service in the beverage container recycling process, from collection of containers using RVMs, to transportation and recycling of the collected materials. Beverage containers will be separated and crushed using RVMs at each collection site to improve the efficiency of transportation and recycling of the collected materials. This system will resolve the problem of high labor costs involved in the process of separating materials. Using this system, Tomra Japan proposes a new style of recycling in which consumers' participation is made easy and fun.

In Tokyo's Adachi Ward, a number of supermarkets have already adopted this system, installing PET bottle RVMs at 30 stores (11 supermarket chains). Adachi Ward provides "environmental points" (coupons, etc.) as incentives for customers to bring in PET bottles. In fiscal 2008, about 300 tons of PET bottles were collected and used as raw materials for producing new products including PET bottles. This project has been awarded by the Ministry of the Environment for Promoting 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycling) in the category of containers and wrapping.

Tomra Japan aims to have 2000 RVMs installed by 2009, a significant increase from the current count of 200 RVMs. The company also intends to develop this business in other countries in Asia.

- Tomra Systems Japan Asia Pacific Ltd.

- Incentives Aim to Improve PET Bottle Collection Rate in Tokyo (Related JFS article)

Posted: 2008/12/06 06:18:03 AM