‘We aim to eventually deploy as many of our reverse vending machines as possible in Singapore,’ says Ms. Bing Zhao, Tomra’s vice-president and head of the collection for Asia.
She spoke with Strait Times during the official opening of TOMRA’s Resource Transformation Centre in Singapore this week.
Read the article in Strait Times: Norwegian firm to deploy vending machines in Singapore to recycle bottles and cans
Tomra celebrates its 50th anniversary today. NBAS-member Tomra developed the world’s first fully automated reverse vending machine for recycling beverage containers in 1972. Now, the company is the world’s leading provider of such solutions. The company has installed about 80,000 machines in over 60 markets globally. These machines collect more than 40 billion empty cans and bottles a year.
Senior Minister of State, Dr. Amy Khor from the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore, and Ambassador H.E Eivind S. Homme from the Norwegian Embassy in Singapore were the guests of honor at the opening.
Launchpad to SEA
In efforts to raise the recycling rate of drink bottles and cans in Singapore, since 2019, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and F&N Foods have rolled out 50 of their reverse vending machines. Furthermore, SMS Dr. Khor said Singapore has engaged Tomra and other technology providers to learn from their experiences with similar bottle-return schemes overseas.
Ms. Bing Zhao was happy to share TOMRA’s vision. She also conducted a demo of a selection of the company’s state-of-the-art Reverse Vending technologies. This technology suits Singapore’s needs. Long term, Tomra intends to use Singapore as a launchpad to introduce its recycling and waste management products and technologies in Southeast Asia.
«In nature, nothing is created, and nothing is destroyed, but everything is transformed. » Antoine-Laurent de Lavosier (father of modern chemistry)
IN – proud partner
Innovation Norway Singapore has worked closely with Tomra for years. Their director Paul Kastmann took great pleasure in the opening ceremony. He offered both philosophical wisdom, market assessments as well as recognizable sentiments from his childhood in his greeting.
‘I remember Tomra from when I was a kid. I was collecting bottles and returning them to the store so that I could save money – or buy ice cream!
The concept of returning bottles for money gave me one of my first lessons in the principles of economics and what it means to have an income. It also taught me that everything has value.
After 50 years, Tomra is now a global company. We at Innovation Norway are very proud of Tomra and for being a partner with them at home and abroad. With Singapore’s impressive ambitions in the circular economy, I can think of no better partner!’
The 2,000 sq ft facility has a showroom for visitors that exhibits three of Tomra’s various models of reverse vending machines, as well as the smart technologies that power and customize them.
Admission to the center at Block 4010 Techplace 1 is free, but visitors must make an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.