Beverage carton maintains growth in recycling rates

Some 350.000 tonnes of beverage cartons were recycled in 2008, or over 13 billion in all. This represents a recycling rate of 33% in Europe (EU-27, Norway and Switzerland). Combined recycling and recovery rates reached roughly 675.000 tonnes (a 65% recovery rate). These figures reflect a clear long-term growth trend in beverage carton recycling since 19921 and a continuous improvement in the year 2008 despite very difficult markets conditions2.

Recycled beverage cartons are used to produce packaging for consumer goods. This process extends the life of the wood fibers contained in the beverage carton (on average 75%) and so optimises this renewable resource. Finally, it contributes to alleviating the impact of climate change by reducing green house gas (GHG) emissions from landfill. Recycled cartons are also valuable raw materials for office stationery and tissue papers.

“This is one of our practical responses to tackling climate change”, commented Erika Mink, President of ACE, the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment.

“Our industry is dedicated to minimizing the environmental impact of beverage cartons through their life-cycle from cradle to grave, said Christian Verschueren, ACE Director General. End-of-use management is part of the sustainable performance of our packaging. That is why we are committed to increase recycling levels of beverage cartons”.

ACE is working with local authorities and NGOs in the EU-27 to promote public awareness of recycling and the setting up of collection schemes, which should further improve beverage carton recycling performances.

In France, Tetra Pak in partnership with WWF and supported by some municipalities has launched a public awareness campaign to promote the collection and recycling of beverage cartons. The target is to increase by 50% beverage carton recycling rates from 2008 to 2012. For more information, please visit the website Click here. (in French only).

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