Food processing and packaging solutions provider Tetra Pak has collaborated with global resource management firm Veolia to recycle all components of used beverage cartons collected within the European Union by 2025.
Tetra Pak recycling director Lisa Ryden said: “All materials from beverage cartons can be fully recycled into something new and useful. 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.”
The average beverage carton is said to contain 75% paperboard, 20% plastic and 5% aluminum foil.
The fibers recovered during recycling can be converted into paper pulp for use in both industrial and consumer products, which is not possible with the recovered polymer and aluminum (PolyAl) mix.
As part of the partnership, both the firms will process PolyAl at dedicated facilities and convert into raw materials for applications within the plastic industry.
The process will help enhance the value of used beverage cartons and turn the value chain more efficient and viable for collection and recycling.
Tetra Pak and Veolia will initially work in the EU region, and later expand to more markets across the globe.
Veolia development, innovation and markets senior EVP Laurent Auguste said: “This partnership joins together our resource management expertise and Tetra Pak’s packaging material expertise.
“We will develop an environmentally and economically sustainable solution to recycling PolyAl, first in the EU, and then Asia, to improve collection, technology and processes.”
In April this year, Tetra Pak announced plans to launch a paper straw that is suitable for its portion-sized carton packages before the end of this year.
The company’s move is part of a program to help address the plastic straw waste issue.
Tetra Pak provides packaging equipment for liquid food products, as well as a range of processing and packaging technologies for use with a broad array of products from ice cream and cheese to fruit, vegetables and pet food.