Tetra Pak recycling is coming back to the UK!

Filed in Waste News by on June 28, 2012 7 Comments
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This morning, one of our readers, Antonio, sent me a link to a story about tetra pak recycling in the UK.

Until 2006, you could recycle these pesky beverage cartons in Fife, but the mill closed down and since then we’ve been exporting our collected cartons to Sweden.

But not for much longer as this story shows…

Beverage carton recycling is to recommence in the UK following a deal between carton manufacturers and a cardboard packaging producer in West Yorkshire.

The Alliance for Beverage Cartons & the Environment (ACE UK) announced today (June 25) that it has signed a ten-year agreement with Sonoco Alcore that will see beverage cartons reprocessed at the company’s paper mill in Halifax.

No UK-based reprocessing facility has existed for beverage cartons since the closure of the Smith Anderson paper mill in Fife, Scotland in 2006. Instead, material has had to be exported to countries in Europe including Sweden and Italy.

Cartons will be reprocessed at the plant from 2013. The facility will be capable of recycling 25,000 tonnes-a-year of cartons sorted from household and commercial waste streams.

Currently, ACE UK, which represents carton manufacturers Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc and Elopak, owns a network of bring banks at local authority sites across the country. Material from these bring banks will be collected by ACE UK and sent to the Sonoco Alcore plant for reprocessing.

However ACE UK only sees bring banks as an ‘interim-measure’ and following the development of the new facility it is hoped that more councils will begin collecting drinks cartons at the kerbside now that a UK market exists to process the material.

Additional material will come from local authorities who have already begun collecting beverage cartons at the kerbside.

Read the rest of the story over at Lets Recycle.

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. LJayne says:

    Brilliant news!

  2. Jane says:

    I took a recycling box of these down to the local supermarket bank from the in-laws flats’ recycling. They are not included kerbside and I reckoned I should take a turn. Got my trousers covered in mud but hey-ho I still feel better for contributing. Roll on inclusion in the kerbside collection and not having to travel so far. Perhaps that will persuade more LAs to include them.

  3. Sooz says:

    That is very exciting!

  4. Jane says:

    I think it is great that they are seeking a use for the plastic and foil from the cartons as well as the cardboard.

  5. Jennifer says:

    What great news!!

  6. Philippa says:

    Sadly the in-laws’ kerbside recycling collection has now been reduced! to just paper and card (together), and plastic bottles and tin cans (together).

    I’m still taking the flattened Tetrapak cartons to a supermarket recycling bank. I now saw the corner off to finish and rinse out the contents and leave the plastic lid on. Since they still have to deal with the plastic collar I reckon they should be able to deal with the lid as well. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe I’m right but without the info from the facility that deals with them – we’re left wondering.

    • Mrs Green says:

      We’ve got pretty small kerbside collections too – tins, glass and paper!

      You can put all of the carton into the banks and it can be dealt with at the recycling plant.

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