Collection is critical to boosting recycling
The movement to ensure more packages are collected and sorted
By recycling materials, we reduce waste, save resources and contribute to a lower climate impact. But with only 13.5% of global waste being recycled,1 we need to find ways to increase recycling rates.
One reason recycling is hindered in some countries is a lack of waste management policy and infrastructure. In some parts of the world, collection relies on an informal sector of waste pickers. Other countries simply lack appropriate collection availability for consumers.
Today Tetra Pak carton packages are collected and recycled across the world where waste management and recycling infrastructure is in place. In Europe, nearly half of all carton packages are collected for recycling and transformed into a wide range of new products. But we aim for more.
What does it take to increase carton collection and sorting?
For recycling to succeed in any community, there needs to be a solid collection and sorting system. We are working to expand and strengthen collection systems by actively engaging stakeholders such as retailers, waste management companies and policy makers to overcome bottlenecks in local recycling value chains and scale up recycling capacity.
With our contribution, the number of collection points, programmes and total tonnage of cartons has been increasing. Through packaging recovery organisations (PROs), we are adopting a front-line position when it comes to driving alignment and collaboration with the other players of the value chain.
For example, we are working with the GIRA project in Ecuador to improve the country’s collection infrastructure. The project makes it easier for consumers to recycle with 94 recycling stations covering nine materials installed across the country. The stations are then promoted through national social media, TV and brand awareness campaigns.
We have also joined forces with AIM, the European Brands Association and more than 85 companies and organisations from the packaging value chain on the HolyGrail 2.0 Digital Watermarks Initiative, which looks into the future of sorting. The objective is to prove the viability of digital watermarking technologies for increased accuracy in sorting. As a result, we are currently working on enabling embedding of watermarking for sorting in our package portfolio.
Our collection and sorting partnerships and projects are spread widely around the world. As we work to contribute to increased recycling rates of packaging, we believe these projects are fundamental to making a big impact on recycling globally.