Why keeping recycled materials in use for longer matters

In 2022, globally, 1.2 million tonnes of paper-based carton packages were collected and sent for recycling1. Today, most carton packages collected for recycling are being shipped to paper mills, which recover the fibre, separating the polyAl2.

The fibre is then reused into new products such as cardboard boxes, tissues and office paper.

paper rolls

Where paper mills use dedicated pulpers to process carton packages, the remaining polyAl can be sent to plastic and aluminium recyclers to be recycled into products such as panels, pallets, crates, furniture, and tiles.

There’s a growing number of polyAl recyclers, and it’s part of our strategy to accelerate the recycling capacity for all materials of carton packages. The more that materials are kept in use, the more that demand for virgin resources can be reduced and the environmental impact associated with their extraction and processing can be minimised.


Catalogues with PolyAl products

Recycled pellets from PolyAl

Catalogue of recycled resins & aluminium

For the technical data of the polyAl material, an overview of the companies that recycle polyAl, and examples of end use, see our catalogue of recycled resins & aluminium.

Recycled products from used beverage cartons

Catalogue of recycled polyAl end-products

For different end-products produced using polyAl, including pallets, crates, boards and furniture, and the companies manufacturing them, see our Catalogue of recycled polyAl end-products.

Products made from recycled beverage cartons

See the examples of collaborations that have successfully turned carton packaging into new products.


The future of recycled cartons is beautiful

From carton to PolyAl to furniture: a Dutch design brand is turning beverage cartons into beautiful interior objects.

Chair made from recycled polyAl

Ecuaplastic - recycled materials and applications

We support Ecuaplastic as they continue to improve the quality and launch value-added products made from recycled polyAl, drawing on waste materials.

Finnish landscape

Ecuador’s recycled carton sports shoe

The story of Ecuador’s first sports shoe made of recycled carton, and how Bunky, Ecuaplastic and Tetra Pak came together to create this product.

Further reading

Used beverage cartons in flat pile

Circular economy for a sustainable future

Read how we're committing and acting to move away from the linear “take-make-waste” consumption model toward a circular economy.

Collection and sorting

Collaborative actions in waste collection & sorting

To promote waste collection and sorting, we work with a wide range of stakeholders.

Tetra Pak recyclers

Tetra Pak recyclers

Find your Tetra Pak recycling centre with our recycling map. Explore where and how to recycle used beverage cartons.

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1.Paper-based carton packages are recyclable where adequate collection, sorting and recycling infrastructures are in place at scale.

2The non-fibre component of carton packages is known as polyAl, which designates the layers of polyolefins and aluminium being used as barrier.