And why cartons are considered one of the most sustainable package choices out there? You may say that, taking the lifecycle approach into consideration, cartons never die. How? By being made mainly from paper, a renewable resource, and by being recycled after you consume the product inside. Recycling really closes the loop.
Cartons are recyclable and can be recycled into tissue products. The way they get to be tissue products is a very simple process. It all starts with you.
After you put your cartons into the recycling bin, cartons are then collect by a village-funded or private curbside recycling program. They are then sorted out in a stand-alone facility and sold to recycling mills.
The mills take cartons and put them into large vats of water where they are agitated (just like a jumbo kitchen blender). The swirling action rubs the fibers apart, helping the paper dissolve. These fibers then absorb water and develop into a pulpy mixture, and any non-paper elements separate out and are sieved off. The recovered fibers are then ready to be reprocessed into the paper used to make tissues products.
Globally, an estimated 25 billion packages were recycled in 2009 alone. Tetra Pak knows that recycling is very important to everyone, and we, and members of the Carton Council, are always looking for ways to aggressively expand carton recycling in the U.S. We’ve come a long way since we’ve started carton recycling programs domestically in 1999. Today, 20% of the total U.S. residents across 26 states (and growing) have access to carton recycling. For a list of communities with carton recycling in the U.S., click here.