Cartons now collected by 92 per cent of councils
Since the beverage carton trade association introduced its bring bank collection system in 2007, the first stage in its wider strategy to boost UK recycling rates, ACE UK says it has recorded great strides in recycling progress.
When the initiative was launched, only 10 per cent of local authorities collected beverage cartons for recycling, but by mid-2007, some 65 per cent were using a bring bank system, with a reduced 25 per cent sending cartons to landfill or incinerators.
ACE UK represents carton producers Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc, and promotes the industry as a renewable and low-carbon packaging choice, including running the industry’s recycling programme.
Working closely with local authorities and waste management companies, ACE UK has continued to boost recycling rates, with 92 per cent of local authorities now collecting beverage cartons for recycling, with 66 per cent collected at kerbside and 26 per cent through bring banks. Now only eight per cent send cartons to landfill or incineration.
Commenting on the updated figure, Mandy Kelly, Senior Recycling Manager at ACE UK, said: “The last ten years has seen a huge increase in beverage carton recycling. There have been some amazing highlights along the way, with perhaps the most important being the opening of our own reprocessing plant in 2013.
“Supported by our members Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc, we entered into an agreement with Sonoco Alcore to create the UK’s only dedicated beverage carton recycling facility. Situated in Stainland, West Yorkshire, the facility is capable of recycling 25,000 tonnes of cartons per year, and currently receives cartons from 35 per cent of UK local authorities.
“Our next target is for 75 per cent of local authorities to collect beverage cartons at kerbside – but bring banks still have a role to play. The priority is to have as many recycling opportunities as possible – but these opportunities must be delivered efficiently, generate the right quality of material and encourage the greatest amount of recycling.
“We’ve come a long way but there is still more to do – here’s to the next ten years!”
You can find out more about beverage carton recycling on the ACE UK website.