With a joint investment of €29 million, together with Stora Enso we have launched a state-of-the-art recycling line for used beverage cartons in Poland.
The new recycling facility, situated at Stora Enso's production unit in Ostrołęka (North-Eastern Poland), has the potential to triple the country's annual recycling capacity for beverage cartons and play a pivotal role in advancing circularity within the food packaging sector in this part of Europe.
Before establishing the recycling line, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary faced a challenge in managing the growing volume of post-consumer beverage cartons. The limited recycling capacity led to wasting valuable resources and increased reliance on virgin materials.
Together with Stora Enso we recognised the importance of enhancing beverage carton recycling capacity in Poland and neighbouring countries of Central & Eastern Europe. By doing so, we aimed to keep valuable resources in circulation and contribute to the circular economy's objectives.
The collaboration between our companies resulted in a new recycling line dedicated to processing post-consumer beverage cartons. With an annual capacity of 50,000 tonnes, the facility efficiently separates fibres from polymers and aluminium, recycling the fibres into cardboard materials. This innovative solution supports material circularity by converting used paper-based packaging into new paper-based products and goods, such as corrugated cardboard and recovered pulp and paper.
Moreover, we have also collaborated with Czech company Plastigram Industries to industrialise a solution for recycling polyAl1 into new products, further enhancing the circularity of beverage carton materials.
With the total capacity to process up to 75,000 tonnes of beverage cartons annually, the facility has the potential to recycle the entire volume of beverage cartons sold in Poland. Additionally, it can absorb additional volumes from neighbouring countries, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.
By diverting significant amounts of beverage carton waste from landfills, the recycling hub plays a substantial role in achieving the industry's ambitions. The solution will contribute to the collection and recycling rate of beverage cartons to 90% and 70%, respectively, in the EU by 2030, as part of the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE).
The launch of the recycling hub marks a step forward in the circularity of consumer packaging and supports the EU's proposed Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR).
The beverage carton industry has already invested approximately €200 million to increase recycling capacity in the EU and plans to invest an additional €120 million by 2027. The focus remains on expanding recycling efforts throughout Europe, further contributing to the food packaging sector.
This joint initiative demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and circularity. By increasing recycling capacity and promoting responsible waste management, the new facility serves as a role model for the beverage carton industry and aligns with the EU's circular economy goals, paving the way for a more sustainable future.
1The non-fibre component of carton packages is known as polyAl, which designates the layers of polyolefins and aluminium being used as barrier against oxygen and humidity to protect the food content in aseptic carton packages.
Stora Enso, Plastigram
For more information: