Recycling and recovery
A hands-on approach
Recycling of our used packages is important to us as well as to most of our stakeholders. We set ourselves clear targets to continue increasing recycling worldwide. To support this, a number of initiatives are taking place in almost every country in which we do business. Since 2002 we have seen a significant growth of recycling in countries where collection and recycling is generally just beginning, while markets where both collection and recycling infrastructure is well established have more stable recycling rates.
We support activities to increase access to recycling of used cartons, and cooperate with civil society, industry, and governments. We also assist paper manufacturing mills around the world with technical expertise to carry out trials and verify the feasibility of recycling cartons at their sites. On average over 40 such trials have been performed every year since 2002.
Global recycling of used Tetra Pak® cartons increased by 10% in 2012 – from 528 kilo tonnes to 581 kilo tonnes, which is 22.9% of the total. Some 3.6 billion more Tetra Pak packages were recycled in 2012 vs. 2011.
Luxenburg and Belgium, with recycling rates of more than 80%, and Germany, where recycling rates are above 70%, remain the star performers, while China, Russia and Arabia, starting from a low base, have virtually doubled their recycling rates during the past three years. Tetra Pak is investing tens of millions of euros to promote consumer awareness and work with local municipalities in its drive to increase recycling rates around the world.
Of course this is accomplished in conjunction with our municipal and industry partners globally. This means that the appropriate forms of collection, sorting, and recycling will be determined by local needs. For example, we are members of ACE (the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment) in Europe, CEMPRE (the Business Commitment for Recycling), in both Argentina and Brazil, and TIPMSE (Thailand Institute of Packaging and Recycling Management for Sustainable Environment). We also cooperate with government initiatives like Clean Up World in Arabia, and the Chinese CEC (Circular Economy Committee), and we work with the civil society through Non-Governmental Organisations.