Tetra Pak invests in four new recycling facilities, enabling global carton packaging recycling to exceed fifty billion a year

Once fully operational, the latest recycling solutions in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Australia are expected to recycle up to 45,000 tonnes of post-consumer carton packages, or over 1.4 billion pack units, ensuring all components are given a new lease of life.

Lausanne, Switzerland (22 February 2022): In just four months, Tetra Pak has co-invested over €11.5 million with recyclers and industry players, to help set up four completely new recycling solutions for carton packages in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Australia. From building recycling capacity from scratch via cross-border cooperation (in Saudi Arabia), expanding that capacity by 50% (in Turkey), tripling the production capacity for the cartons' PolyAl element (in Ukraine) to leveraging a public/ private partnership (in Australia), these projects share one single, critical trait. They will enable recycling of all components of a used carton package, transforming them into quality materials and goods. 

Once fully operational, the new solutions will be able to process up to an additional 45,000 tonnes of used carton packages, enabling global carton package recycling to exceed 50 billion a year. This translates to significantly improved recycling in the respective countries, and in some cases also in the neighbouring ones. 

Tatiana Liceti, EVP for Market Operations at Tetra Pak, comments: “Carton packages are recycled across the globe, where efficient waste management and recycling infrastructures are in place. Accelerating this requires all stakeholders to play an active role, including governments, local authorities, producers and consumers. Sustainability is one of the top three priorities for our customers , and these new facilities will help contribute towards meeting their goals.”

Working collaboratively to advance recycling and to realise a circular economy has always been core to Tetra Pak’s sustainability strategy. The company’s pioneering investments and partnerships over the last ten years have helped over 170 recycling operations across the globe to process carton packages. What’s changing is the pace of action.

As shown by the latest Tetra Pak Index, approximately 50% of consumers are likely to recycle more this year as part of their personal contribution to tackling climate change. In addition, when asked who should find solutions to environmental and waste issues, consumers rank packaging companies third – behind food and beverage brands and governments .

Key conditions to meet this rising demand include:

  • Convenient access to collection infrastructure
  • Clear sorting of waste
  • Sufficient recycling capacity  

This heightened awareness amongst consumers highlights the importance of having industrial solutions in place that can support a shift in recycling habits. 

Lars Holmquist, EVP for Sustainability and Communications at Tetra Pak, concludes: “With more time being spent at home due to COVID-19 restrictions, the household waste ‘footprint’ is more visible. In a bid to address this, consumers are adapting their daily routines, and taking greater action. We are helping them on this journey by raising awareness on how they can actively help recycle, while co-investing in expanding recycling capacity and developing innovative technologies, so that post-consumer carton packages can be reintroduced into the economy. All this, in collaboration with food manufacturers, municipalities and recyclers across the entire recycling value chain. These new investments are a testament to the joint drive needed to realise our ultimate ambition - a world where all carton packages are collected, recycled and never become litter.”

Media contacts

Lucia Freschi
Tetra Pak
Tel: +39 347 2632237
Email: Lucia.freschi@tetrapak.com     

Recycling facility in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, Tetra Pak partnered on the ‘RIYcycle’ project with two leading recycling companies, Obeikan Paper Industries (OPI) and Saudi Top Plastic Factory (STP). With a joint investment of over €3 million, the project – a country’s first - aims to increase collection and recycling by creating value for post-consumer cartons, as the goal is to recycle all the components of the packages collected in Saudi Arabia and neighbouring countries, such as Kuwait and UAE. The new line for carton recycling has an expected capacity of 8,000 tonnes a year, while the new plant for PolyAl has a capacity of around 4,000 tonnes of granules per year.

Recycling collection Turkey

In Turkey

In Turkey, the long-term collaboration between Tetra Pak and Kahramanmaraş Paper saw a landmark moment at the end of 2021, with the official inauguration of the country’s first complete recycling solution for carton packages. Supported by a joint investment of approximately €4 million, the plant enables the recycling of all components of Tetra Pak cartons, with an annual recycling capacity of 18,000 tons of cartons, equalling 47% of the current carton recycling capacity in the country. Recycled fibers are re-purposed into the paper production process, with the remaining PolyAl components granulated and given new life in the form of produce baskets, irrigation pipes, containers and pallets

Panel boards made from recycled carton packages

In Australia

In Australia, builders will soon be able to replace plywood, particle board, and plaster board with recycled construction boards made from packaging waste such as post-consumer carton packages. Funded by the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund and the New South Wales (NSW) Government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, the project is the first outcome of the collaboration between Tetra Pak and industry players under the umbrella of the Global Recycling Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (GRACE) and is a joint initiative with saveBOARD and its supporters Freightways and Closed Loop. A $1.74 million grant from the Federal and NSW Government will enable the creation of a $5 million facility before the end of 2022, with an estimated 4,000 tonnes carton recycling capacity.

PolyAl recycling facility in Ukraine

In Ukraine

In Ukraine, Zmievskaya Paper Factory, in partnership with Tetra Pak, launched a country-first complete solution to recycle carton packages. The joint investment of more than €1.5 million enables the recycling of all packaging components at one industrial site, creating significant efficiencies and cost savings. As a result, the production capacity for the beverage cartons' PolyAl component recycling has tripled. Specifically, the plant will be able to process up to 15,000 tonnes of cartons - an increase of 25% from 2020 - and to produce over 4,000 tonnes of high-quality PolyAl pellets annually.

Images for download

Tatiana Liceti

Tatiana Liceti

Tatiana Liceti

Executive Vice President for Market Operations at Tetra Pak

Lars Holmquist

Lars Holmquist

Lars Holmquist

Executive Vice President for Sustainability & Communications at Tetra Pak

polyAI pellets

PolyAl pellets

PolyAl pellets

Partnering to advance recycling in Saudi Arabia

recycling boxes in warehouse

Quality goods made of recycled carton packages

Quality goods made of recycled carton packages

Turning post-consumer carton packages into quality goods in Turkey

Packaging waste feedstock

Packaging waste feedstock

Packaging waste feedstock

Repurposing packaging waste feedstock as recycled construction boards in Australia

Paper manufacturing, recycled paper

Recycling and giving second life to the paperboard component of cartons

Recycling and giving second life to the paperboard component of cartons

Stepping up carton recycling in Ukraine