UK reprocessing plant to boost beverage carton recycling rates


An agreement has been signed to set up the UK’s only beverage carton reprocessing facility near Halifax.

The Alliance for Beverage Cartons & the Environment (ACE) and its members Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc and Elopak, have signed the agreement with Sonoco Alcore.


The plant will be operational from 2013 and capable of recycling 25,000 tonnes of cartons sorted from household and commercial waste streams by local authorities and their waste management contractors.

ACE UK chief executive Richard Hands said: “This decision underlines the firm commitment of our member to constantly improve the environmental performance of their beverage cartons. The already low carbon footprint will become even lower, valuable materials will go back into the UK economy and local authorities can meet the expectations of many householders that their waste should be reprocessed in this country.

“We are confident that by the end of 2013, a further ten local authorities will have started collecting cartons in their kerbside service, sending them to the new mill for recycling by ACE UK and Sonoco Alcore.”

As the wood fibres found in beverage cartons are flexible and strong, they can be recycled into consumer and industrial products such as the tubes for cling film and the cores for rolls of textiles.

Sonoco Alcore Europe vice president industrial converting Adam Wood added: “Our company has a long history of recycling and reuse, and this opportunity with ACE UK strengthens our focus on sustainability. This partnership provides us with the fibre we need to produce our engineered tubes and cores, and we are looking forward to receiving a growing stream of cartons.

“Additionally, as an integrated manufacturer, it is important for us to know our material sources and we know ACE UK members are committed to sourcing from responsibly managed forests. This partnership has brought real business benefits to our UK operations while supporting our sustainable business practices.”