​​​​​​​​​​​​​Local solutions to a global change​​

Our new set of objectives and relevant metrics fall into six categories: consumer awareness, customer awareness and collaboration, collection and sorting, fibre recycling, polymer and aluminium (polyAl) recycling and increasing the value of recycled materials. Below are some examples of our metrics in action:

​Sorting: Using robotic technology to smarten recycling

The Carton Council – of which we are founding members – is always looking for new opportunities to integrate smart technology into carton recycling facilities. 

In an exciting pilot program led by the Carton Council, AMP Robotics, and a Colorado recycling facility, Alpine Waste & Recycling, a team is teaching robots how to recycle. The robotic system, AMP’s Cortex, is using robotics and artificial intelligence to learn how to identify and ‘grab’ food and beverage cartons. The system was installed in late 2016 and has a pickup rate of 60 cartons per minute - the human average is 40 picks per minute. The separated cartons are sold and made into new products, diverting material for re-processing that would otherwise be lost to a landfill.

The Cortex is continuously learning how to better recognise and separate cartons, and can share its ‘knowledge’ with similar robots at other recycling facilities; the system can even be ‘taught’ to pick out other objects – including contaminants. The Cortex represents a promising long-term solution for keeping up with the ever-growing volume and diversity of packaging materials and formats in the recycling stream.

Collection: Sharing our experience with government

Our extensive experience in sustainable recycling and collection models and pilots for used beverage cartons means we are well placed to develop and share key learnings and best practices. In China, the government asked for our input as a policy reference for their new waste separation and reduction targets. Starting in 2017, we have projects ongoing in three major cities, Shanghai, Nanjing and Chengdu. We support local collection partners to optimise their collection models, replicate them to other municipalities and demonstrate best practices for local government.

Consumer awareness: Recycling takes centre stage

In Brazil, two initiatives, sponsored by Tetra Pak, are using theatre and cinema to help spread the message about the importance of recycling.

Cinemas in Brazil are mostly located in urban centres, thus some cities in countryside areas do not have cinemas nearby. In order to combine both entertainment and an environmental message, a mobile cinema scheme was started. This is “Reciclo de Cinema​” project. Before each screening a team presents a short and entertaining message about the importance of recycling and its impact on the planet. Since the project started in 2008 we have visited 644 cities with a total audience of around 1 million people.

Since 2015, in shopping malls all over Brazil, a fun interactive play has been staged to help communicate how and where people can recycle. “Palco da Reciclagem​” is a production which tells the story of a family who discover how their milk cartons are recycled, from the package leaving their home and through all the stages until it’s turned into a new product. The play has already been seen by over 34,000 people.​​

Recycling bins