TOMRA Sorting Recycling host global conference to focus on recycling plastics

Leaders and influencers in the recycling and waste management industries have convened at the TOMRA Leads Global Conference 2019 to discuss solutions to the problems posed by plastic waste. With the theme of ‘Recycling in a Plastic World’, the two-day event on June 4th and 5th in Sofia, Bulgaria, focused on trends and innovations throughout the plastic value chain. The 214 delegates from 31 countries were also given the opportunity to see how TOMRA Sorting Recycling’s technologies recover reusable materials from household waste at a new 40 M€ plastics recycling plant.

This was the third biannual TOMRA Leads Global Conference, an event designed to share knowledge and accelerate progress in recycling and waste management through keynote speeches, presentations, discussions, and networking opportunities. The plant visit was made to Integra Plastics in the town of Elin Pelin, just outside the capital city.

Expert insights into a wide range of issues
On the second day of the conference, high-caliber speakers shared expert insights into the direction of the recycling market, the circular economy and the role of virgin materials, and financial investment models.

Five presentations were made during the morning. Dr Volker Rehrmann, Executive Vice-President and Head of Circular Economy at TOMRA, shared TOMRA’s perspective on the circular economy and the role TOMRA will play. Andy Grant, Technical Director- Local Government of Eunomia Research & Consulting, talked about waste collection systems and the impact on recycling plastics. Herman Van Roost, Business Development Manager Recycling, TOTAL Refining & Petrochemicals, gave a presentation on circular plastics’ fundamentals and innovation challenges. Professor Ed Kosior, Managing Director at the consultancy Nextek, talked about the recyclability of plastics. And Iilya Kardashliev, Principal Banker in the Infrastructure Department at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, explained financial models to support plastic recycling investments.

In the afternoon, visitors had the choice of attending either the Plastic Recycling conference or the Legislation conference, which ran at the same time. Both conferences were followed by panel discussions.
Finally, conference visitors were given a vivid reminder of the importance of the circular economy when Kristine Berg, Circular Economy Advisor at TOMRA, introduced a video about eXxpedition, the 2018 sailing expedition which featured an all-woman crew. This showed with shocking clarity why the vast stretch of ocean traversed by the expedition is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (

Source: TOMRA Sorting Recycling