Carton recycling on the up with new UK paper mill 26/06/2012
Tetra Pak and ACE UK, the Alliance for Beverage Cartons & the Environment, are announcing an agreement with paper and packaging producer Sonoco-Alcore to establish a UK beverage carton recycling facility which is set to significantly increase the recycling rate of used cartons. The new plant will be the only one of its kind in the UK.
By providing UK-based recycling for cartons instead of shipping them abroad, the number of local authorities running kerbside carton collection schemes should increase. New research from Tetra Pak into consumer attitudes to recycling has also found that more than half (58%) of UK adults say they would be more likely to recycle their used food and drink cartons knowing that they would be recycled into other materials in the UK rather than abroad.
Rupert Maitland-Titterton, Environment and Communications Director at Tetra Pak UK, said:
“Consumers rightly take an interest in how their used packaging is dealt with and want to see their beverage cartons recycled in the UK. They see a variety of benefits in UK-based recycling as do we at Tetra Pak. We are constantly seeking to innovate to improve the environmental footprint of our cartons. From pioneering sugar cane-based plastics to FSC certification of our paperboard, UK carton recycling is another step along the path of continued improvement of the environmental profile of the carton.”
Tetra Pak is committed to increasing the global recycling rate of its beverage cartons from 20% in 2010 to 40% by 2020 and has been a driving force behind the new plant. By the end of 2012 the aim is for 47% of UK local authorities to be collecting cartons from kerbside, which could then be recycled at the new site.
According to the new research, almost two-thirds (63%) of UK adults would prefer to have their food and drink cartons recycled into other materials in the UK, compared to less than one-in-sixteen (6%) who want this done abroad.
Of those who want cartons to be recycled in the UK, more than two-thirds (69%) see it as a point of principle agreeing that ‘if cartons are used in the UK, they should be recycled in the UK’. More than half (56%) recognise that the recycled material should be kept in the UK because it is valuable and two-fifths (40%) see the benefit of a UK-based recycling plant keeping trucks off the road.
As well as driving up carton recycling, Tetra Pak is also aiming to offer cartons made entirely from renewable material. In the UK and Ireland, 74% of the cartons Tetra Pak sells are now made from FSC certified paperboard. Tetra Pak was also the first company in the global carton packaging industry to introduce renewable polyethylene (PE) caps. Tetra Pak has developed the new caps, which are made from sugar cane derivatives, working in partnership with Braskem, Brazil’s largest petrochemical company. Following Nestlé Brazil’s successful trial of the caps on two of its popular milk brands, Tetra Pak is now offering renewable PE alternatives for three more of its cap designs, here in the UK.
To read more about the reprocessing plant launch go to http://www.ace-uk.co.uk/aceuk/
Click here to view an animation from ACE-UK on the ‘dynamic and expanding’ story of carton recycling in the UK’.