Packaging company Tetra Pak and recycling firm Veolia have signed a partnership agreement to recycle all the components of used beverage cartons collected within the EU by 2025.
According to Veolia, the average beverage carton includes around 75% paperboard, 20% plastic and 5% aluminium foil.
The fibres recovered during recycling have been converted into high-quality paper pulp for use in both industrial and consumer items.
Under the new partnership, the polymer and aluminium (PolyAI) blend from the pulp manufacturing process will be converted into raw materials for the plastic sector. This can, for example, be used to manufacture plastic crates and pallets.
The value of used beverage cartons is expected to double, making the value chain for collection and recycling beverage cartons more efficient, said Veolia.
Tetra Pak recycling director Lisa Ryden said: “Our approach to recycling involves working with many partners along the value chain, because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The challenge in the EU is to achieve the economies of scale and turn PolyAl into high value secondary materials. With this partnership, we are combining our respective areas of expertise to find sustainable solutions for PolyAl recycling.”
Veolia senior executive vice president development, innovation and markets Laurent Auguste said: “This partnership joins together our resource management expertise and Tetra Pak’s packaging material expertise. We are proud to embark on this journey with Tetra Pak to sustain and grow beverage carton recycling.
“At Veolia we work every day to make waste a valuable resource, and are constantly developing innovative solutions, and investing in technologies, as part of our wider commitment to living circular.”
The partnership will start in the EU and expand to more markets globally.