Increased beverage cartons recycling in Europe


The number of beverage cartons recycled in Europe increased notably in 2007.

According to the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE), Europeans recycled close to 330,000 tonnes of beverage cartons in 2007, representing 32% of total volume - an improvement by 7% over 2006.

“Our industry is committed to increase recycling levels of our beverage cartons. This is why we encourage collection schemes through partnerships with local authorities and drive innovation for our products” - said Christian Verschueren, ACE Director General.

In the UK, an initiative launched in 2007 between the beverage carton industry association ACE-UK and local authorities enables consumers to return beverage cartons to collection facilities. This programme has increased the geographical coverage of municipalities offering
carton collection from 20% to 85% in 18 months. The recycling rate in the UK is expected to improve rapidly as the system becomes established.

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

The industry is also continuing to innovate and improve its recycling processes to recover the non-fibre part of beverage carton packaging. As an example of more efficient recycling, ACE member, Stora Enso, has invested in a new industrial-sized polyethylene (PE) and aluminium
recycling plant in Spain. This project is being co-funded by the EU LIFE programme and is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Industry and the Centre for Technological Innovation.

For more information on the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment - Click Here