New MD to lead TOMRA’s multi-million pound investment in Scotland

Ryan Buzzell (Managing Director for the UK and Ireland with TOMRA) with one of the types of reverse vending machines being supplied by the company for Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS)

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TOMRA, one of the world’s leading suppliers of reverse vending machines (RVMs), has appointed a new Scotland-based managing director for the UK and Ireland.

Ryan Buzzell takes up his post at an important juncture for the business as it makes a multi-million pound investment in new staff and resources ahead of the introduction of Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in March next year (2024).

Reverse vending machines are a critical component of schemes, providing a means by which people give back their bottles and cans.

Based at the firm’s current Scottish operations hub in Livingston, Mr Buzzell will oversee the installation of hundreds of RVMs in supermarkets, convenience stores and other locations across the country.

He has experience internationally in the implementation of deposit return schemes, most recently as President and Chief Executive of TOMRA Collection Australia.

Mr Buzzell, an American, has held a series of senior roles with TOMRA during his 18 years with the firm, firstly in New York and then Sydney, where he was based for more than five years and also had responsibility for expanding the company’s interests across the Pacific region.

In Scotland, his work will include a goal to double its current Scottish workforce to 60 by the end of 2023, with its work to install and maintain RVMs including contracts with major supermarket chains, as well as smaller shop operators.

Numbers are expected to grow further in the coming years with the rest of the UK and Ireland scheduled to launch deposit return schemes.

And Mr Buzzell hopes his – and TOMRA’s – experience of working on similar successful schemes worldwide will prove positive, improving the environment and enhancing the economy.

He said: “I am delighted to be joining the TOMRA Collection team for the UK and Ireland at this time of real growth for the business. We are making a significant investment as we look towards the implementation of successful deposit return schemes, firstly in Scotland.

“I have seen first-hand the tremendous difference that DRS’s make to the environment. They are reflected also in TOMRA’s experiences in many other countries worldwide.

“My colleagues and I are here to offer our knowledge and experience to ensure that Scotland’s journey to DRS is as smooth as it can be.”

Recruitment for new roles with TOMRA – including those in sales and installation – is well underway, with the company having secured a number of significant supply contracts.

Recent polling commissioned by the firm showed that 70 per cent of Scots are supportive of the deposit return scheme.

It involves shoppers paying an extra 20p when purchasing drinks in a bottle or can, with the deposit returned when the empty container is taken back for recycling.

International evidence suggests that DRS could reduce litter by a third, thereby increasing Scotland’s chances of meeting its climate change targets. TOMRA’s experience across Europe suggests that the recycling return rate will be anywhere between 92% and 98%.

Mr Buzzell added: “No two DRS’s are the same. But we can share our experiences of what works. The advantages of a successful scheme to the environment are huge.

“We know from our research that there’s significant public support for the scheme in Scotland. We are well placed to help retailers, and others, navigate their way through the change and to begin reaping the benefits.”

More details about DRS are available at www.drs-scotland.info.

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