UK councils take up carton recycling drive

By George Reynolds

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Tetra pak, Recycling

The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment in the UK
(ACE) is working with councils across the UK to increase carton

Waste management and recycling have become increasingly important to food producers in the light of pressure from legislation including the EU Landfill Directive, the UK government's commitment to reducing waste and emissions, and consumer demands for more environmentally friendly packaging and solutions. Cartons account for about 0.2 per cent of packaging waste produced in the UK, but the recycling rates have been typically lower than some forms of food and beverage containers because of the different materials used in their construction. The scheme aims to reduce the volume of waste that end up in landfill site by recycling the board from cartons into other forms of packaging, while the polyethylene and aluminium foil can be used to produce energy. ACE member and carton manufacturer Tetra Pak told yesterday that there had been a "superb response" from councils. John Rose, marketing director of Tetra Pak, yesterday said ACE had been very impressed by the efforts made. "Councils have been able agree to the scheme and become operational in 10 to 12 weeks,"​ he said. "Some have even managed less than four to five weeks."​ He said to agree to the scheme principle then plan where the banks will be positioned and gain permission where the land is not publicly owned has taken considerable commitment from councils. The new scheme, which has been underway for nearly four months, has so far brought on board 178 councils, adding to the 80 that were already working with ACE under another recycling initiative. Councils are provided with bring back banks, similar to those in place that allow people to recycle glass and paper. Sub-contractors then collect the waste, which is sent for processing in Sweden. ACE has set a target of engaging 70 per cent of UK councils into the scheme by the end of this year. Once the coverage targets are met, ACE will aim at increasing the recycling rates. According to Tetra Pak, about seven per cent of the 55,000 tones of all cartons sold in the UK are recycled at present.

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