The average beverage carton comprises around 75% paperboard, 20% plastic and 5% aluminum foil. It’s the latter two components that have created recycling problems for the entire packaging. While paper fibers recovered during recycling have a healthy market when converted into high-quality paper pulp for use in both industrial and consumer products, the same is not true for the recovered polymer (from caps and carton layers) and aluminum mix known as PolyAl.
Now that last, toughest PolyAl mile toward 100% aseptic beverage carton recycling is reachable after Tetra Pak (Pully, Switzerland) joined forces with global resource management company Veolia (Aubervilliers, France) in a game-changing partnership.
Within this synergistic arrangement, the extracted PolyAl will be processed at dedicated facilities and converted into raw materials for applications within the plastic industry. As a result, the overall value of used beverage cartons is expected to double, making the value chain for collection and recycling more efficient and viable.
The Tetra Pak and Veolia partnership will start in the European Union and expand to more markets around the world.
Lisa Ryden, Recycling Director, Tetra Pak, said, “All materials from beverage cartons can be fully recycled into something new and useful. Our approach to recycling involves working with many partners along the value chain, because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The challenge in the EU is to achieve the economies of scale and turn PolyAl into high value secondary materials.”
Laurent Auguste, Senior EVP Development, Innovation & Markets, Veolia, said “This partnership joins together our resource management expertise and Tetra Pak’s packaging material expertise. We will develop an environmentally and economically sustainable solution to recycling PolyAl, first in the EU, and then Asia, to improve collection, technology and processes. We are proud to embark on this journey with Tetra Pak to sustain and grow beverage carton recycling. At Veolia we work every day to make waste a valuable resource, and are constantly developing innovative solutions, and investing in technologies, as part of our wider commitment to living circular.”
|PLASTEC West (February 5 to 7, 2019) co-located with Medical Design and Manufacturing (MD&M) West and three other leading advanced manufacturing events, will welcome more than 1,900 suppliers showcasing the latest solutions in injection molding, automation, molds and dies, materials, product design and more to Anaheim, CA.|