Jun. 22, 2012
Norway's Minister of Trade and Industry visits an Ito-Yokado Store and Receives a Demonstration on How to Use Reverse Vending Machine
Tomra Japan Co., Ltd. was established in 2008 by Sumitomo Corporation and Tomra Systems ASA to develop and market new collection and recycling systems for plastic bottles and other recyclable beverage containers. Tomra Systems ASA, which was founded in Norway, a country known for its natural beauty and eco-friendliness, currently commands a more than 80% share of the global Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) market.
In March 2012, Tomra Japan began installing RVMs at Seven & i Group stores, and has already placed them in 35 stores in the Kanto region, including Ito-Yokado stores. The company is planning to install these recycling machines at as many as 200 stores nationwide within this fiscal year.
Tomra's RVM is an eco-friendly bottle recycling machine capable of selecting and fragmenting or compressing plastic bottles that are placed inside them. The aim is to reducing waste volume, and thereby cutting necessary transport and storage costs for empty bottles. At the same time, the highest quality of material is ensured by the built-in material sensors. Collected bottles are recycled in Japan, and made into new plastic bottles. People who place the empty bottles into the machine earn "recycle points," which can be exchanged to nanaco points, electronic money that can be used for shopping at Seven & i Group stores as well as other designated stores. This recycle point system is encouraging customers to proactively participate in the Group's recycling efforts.
On May 11, Mr. Trond Giske, Norway's Minister for Trade and Industry, visited the Ito-Yokado Ario Kitasuna store and was shown how to use an RVM by depositing plastic bottles and for the first time using the Seven & i nanaco contact-less loyalty card to collect recycle points. "It is wonderful that Norway's Tomra Systems can contribute to environmental protection in Japan in cooperation with Japan's Seven & i Group," he said.
Tomra Japan, as a company that simultaneously achieves business goals and environmental protection while serving as a bridge between Norway and Japan, will continue to break new ground in the environmental business and further expand its business fields.
Minister Trond Giske (second from the left), President Atsushi Kamei (second from the right) of Ito-Yokado, and President Stefan Ranstrand (far right) of Tomra Systems, standing in front of an RVM.
At Ito-Yokado stores, two recycle points (equivalent to 0.2 yen) are awarded for each recycled plastic bottle.