Paper packaging group Stora Enso and carton manufacturer Tetra Pak have joined forces to assess the viability of building a large-scale used beverage carton recycling line.
The line would be included in Stora Enso’s Ostrołęka mill in Poland.
Stora Enso would pulp and separate the fibres from used beverage cartons, while Tetra Pak would take the polymers and aluminium for recycling by a dedicated partner.
If realised, the annual capacity of the new recycling line would be 50,000 tonnes per year.
Initially, feedstock for the line would come from countries in central and eastern Europe.
Stora Enso vice president LPB Aseptic and CUK Markku Luoto said: “A new line would be the next step in the circularity of packaging materials, in helping make our customers’ brands circular.
“Beverage cartons are widely recycled in Europe today and we want to use our knowledge of fibres and board to promote and accelerate the recycling and collection of beverage carton materials.
“Our process at Ostrołęka mill already uses recycled OCC materials. We are interested in developing the already well-functioning recycling system and using high-quality used beverage carton fibres.”
Tetra Pak East Europe managing director Guillaume Latourrette added: “Working with partners along the value chain is our number one priority when it comes to driving collection and recycling of used beverage cartons.
“We are confident this partnership will allow us to improve Europe’s recycling infrastructure and further increase the recycling rate of used beverage cartons in the region.
“It is through synergies like this one that we will be able to lead the sustainability transformation and achieve a low-carbon circular economy.”
The feasibility study is expected to be completed in six months, after which the possible decisions and timeline of the project will be confirmed.