ACE announces increase in EU recycling rates for beverage cartons

The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) has announced that the recycling rate for beverage cartons in the EU28 rose to 51 per cent in 2019, representing a continuous yearly increase in the EU beverage carton recycling rate.

The recent increase marks the fourteenth consecutive year of rising recycling rates for the beverage carton industry.

Beverage cartonsAddressing policymakers at both European and national levels, the beverage carton industry has driven for increased recycling rates across all EU member states, in efforts to achieve a low-carbon, circular economy.

In order to support the increased recycling rates, the industry has introduced measures such as the separate kerbside collection of beverage cartons, and the use of collection targets.

Annick Carpentier, Director General of ACE, said: “We are pleased that the steady annual increase of the recycling rate for beverage cartons in 2019 surpassed 50 per cent. This is proof of our industry’s efforts and enhances the message that beverage cartons are recyclable and are being recycled at scale in Europe.”

Last month saw the launch of a five-month carton recycling trial by Tesco, in which consumers can return packaging to stores using in-store recycling stations. Supported by ACE’s UK branch, the trial aims to understand consumer behaviour and supplement inconsistencies in UK recycling infrastructure.

Despite beverage cartons being a common form of packaging in the UK, only 68 per cent of local councils collect this kind of packaging at kerbside. Due to the composite nature of the packaging, cartons can be difficult to recycle – composed of a cardboard shell with a plastic or aluminium lining, each piece of the packaging is individually recyclable, but must be separated in order to be processed.

Carpentier continued: “With an upcoming EU legislative agenda towards more sustainable packaging, the beverage carton is well positioned with a 51 per cent recycling rate.

“This is an opportunity to inform policy-makers at all levels that beverage cartons are a safe, circular and sustainable packaging solution with a low carbon footprint, and how the beverage carton you use at your table can be easily collected and recycled.”

To read more about the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment, you can visit the company’s website.

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