Kerbside carton collection reaches 60 per cent

Kerbside collection of cartons hits 60 per cent

The percentage of UK local authorities providing kerbside collection of beverage cartons has hit 60 per cent, the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) UK has found.

Figures released yesterday (10 December) reveal that since 2006, the amount of local authorities offering kerbside collection of beverage cartons has increased 15-fold, from four per cent to 60 per cent.

New collection records

The new record was reached after the eight councils comprising the Norfolk Waste Partnership (NWP) became the latest local authorities to introduce kerbside carton collections.

Adrian Akester, Technical Adviser to NWP, said: “We are very pleased to play such a positive role in increasing carton recycling in Norfolk. This has been thanks to fantastic work by all eight Norfolk councils in launching a new recycling scheme for our county on 1 October this year.

“It means all households now have the opportunity to recycle far more materials at the kerbside than ever before with the aim of increasing our collective recycling rate by five to 10 per cent. Residents can now recycle beverage cartons along with a range of other materials.

“So far the response has been excellent and we will all continue to work hard to divert as much waste as possible from landfill.”

Richard Hands, Chief Executive of ACE UK, added: “It is great news that the Norfolk Waste Partnership is now collecting beverage cartons at kerbside, taking us to the 60 per cent milestone. Our members – Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc – are extremely pleased that their strategy to increase kerbside collection and make it easier for residents to recycle cartons is paying dividends”.

Indeed ACE UK outlined yesterday that carton recycling has become so widespread, that if its bring-bank system is taken into account, the proportion of UK local authorities collecting cartons for recycling rises to 91 per cent.

Promoting carton recycling across the UK

The boost in carton recycling has partly been attributed to the fact that ACE UK opened the UK’s first dedicated carton recycling facility at Stainland, West Yorkshire, in collaboration with its partner Sonoco Alcore last year.

The facility is capable of annually processing 25,000 tonnes of cartons from household and commercial waste streams, accounting for around 38 per cent of all cartons collected by local authorities across the UK.

ACE UK has also been promoting beverage carton recycling recently, with the launch of its new re:cartons campaign, which aims to help local authorities engage local residents in carton recycling, and includes: downloadable communications resources including fact sheets, posters, and videos; free promotional giveaways such as fridge magnets and pencils; and an interactive map of the UK showing the beverage carton recycling services available in each area.

Hands explains: “Through the creation of a clear, easy-to-understand identity that everyone can immediately associate with beverage carton recycling, [re:cartons] will act as a platform to promote even greater carton recycling across the country.”

Jane Bevis, Chair of the On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) scheme, also commented, saying: “With household recycling rates in danger of stalling this is really important news – we know the easier you make it for consumers to recycle, the more that gets recycled.  We applaud the hard work of so many local authorities working in partnership with ACE UK to put these kerbside services in place. 

“Combined with OPRL members providing clear on-pack advice on how cartons can be recycled, these efforts make it more likely we can hit 2020 recycling targets.”

Find out more about ACE UK’s beverage carton recycling facility, or its re:cartons campaign

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