Cartons Are Recyclable

Cartons Are Recyclable

Cartons are recyclable, over 90% of Local Authorities are now collecting cartons for recycling, and more than 65% of Local Authorities are helping people to recycle from their homes. There is also a carton recycling facility located at the Sonoco Alcore papermill in Stainland near Halifax.

 

How Cartons Are Recycled

A step by step process:

  • Baled cartons are dropped into a pulper, similar to a giant domestic food mixer, filled with water, and pulped for around 20 minutes.
  • This breaks down the packaging to produce a grey-brown mixture.
  • The aluminium foil and polyethylene are separated from the fibre.
  • The fibre is recovered to make new paper products.
  • The remaining mix of polyethylene and aluminium can be used for a wide range of plastic products. 

Increasing Recycling Rates

All Local Authorities have recycling targets that they have to meet on an annual basis. These are all weight based and they are required to report the percentage of all the material that is collected and recycled into DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) every year.

They meet these targets by offering a range of collection services for different materials, but it can sometimes be difficult to increase these percentages further and encourage people to recycle even more.

By including cartons in collection and increasing the number of materials that can be recycled by residents, Local Authorities are able to:

  • Increase participation in existing collection operations as residents are offered another waste stream to recycle
  • Help increase the overall tonnage return of materials collected as more residents participate in recycling
  • Thus increasing the overall percentage of material recycled. 

Tetra Pak Actions

Tetra Pak® is working hard to ensure that more and more people are able to recycle their cartons in the UK.

Before June 2007 we faced a challenge, only 20% of all Local Authority areas were collecting cartons for recycling. We needed to change this fast. We worked with several key waste contractors and local authorities across the UK to roll out a recycling solution to establish carton collection across the country. Now, over 90% of Local Authorities are collecting cartons for recycling, with more than 65% of these from the home.

The carton recycling infrastructure is now managed directly via our industry body ACE UK (Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment UK) and we have a dedicated carton recycling facility near Halifax, West Yorkshire.

This facility not only means that cartons can be recycled in the UK, Local authorities can also take advantage of a stable price per tonne for cartons delivered which is incentivising more and more local authorities to collect cartons from the home for recycling.

 

Local Authorities and CRNs

Over 90% of Local Authorities now collecting cartons for recycling, and over 65% of Local Authorities are helping people to recycle from their homes, so carton recycling is becoming the norm.

Our industry body ACE UK, which has a dedicated recycling team offering advice and support for local authorities and community recycling networks (CRN) wishing to collect cartons. Contacts in local authorities or CRNs who want to find out more about how to start collecting cartons at kerbside, can contact the ACE UK recycling team (http://www.ace-uk.co.uk/) who will be able to talk through the process and answer their questions. 

To find out where you can recycle cartons, use our interactive map here.