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Beverage carton kerbside collection hits 50% ‘landmark’ in UK

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Beverage carton kerbside collection hits 50% ‘landmark’ in UK

May 13
11:03 2013

The proportion of local authorities in the UK collecting beverage cartons at the kerbside for recycling has reached the “landmark” level of 50%, according to the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK).

Ceredigion County Council in Wales has become the 203rd local authority out of 406 nationally to enable residents to recycle the cartons by adding them to its existing kerbside collection scheme.

According to ACE UK, the milestone represents a 12-fold increase on 2006 levels of beverage carton collection in the UK, which stood at 40% at the same period in 2012, and 33% in 2011.

The organisation says that the achievement is the result of: “Sustained, close co-operation between ACE UK and its members – Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc – and local authorities and consumer groups.”

A further boost to the figure is expected later in 2013, when the UK’s only beverage carton reprocessing facility opens at the Sonoco Alcore paper mill near Halifax, West Yorkshire.

“In the year that the UK’s only dedicated recycling facility for cartons is scheduled to open, we are extremely pleased that our strategy to increase kerbside collection and make it easier for residents to recycle cartons is also paying dividends”, says Richard Hands, chief executive of ACE UK.

Said to be capable of recycling 25,000 tonnes of cartons sorted from household and commercial waste streams, the new processing facility in Halifax will offer a range of benefits to local authorities and their waste management contractors, including a non-export market for the recycled beverage carton material stream.

Through kerbside collection schemes and ACE UK’s own “bring-bank” collection system, cartons collected in 187 UK local authority areas are already set to be sent to the new plant for recycling, ACE UK says.

Each year, about 60,000 tonnes of paper-based cartons are used in the UK to package milk and fruit juice, as well as a growing range of food products including soup, chopped tomatoes and pulses.

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