This milestone represents a 12-fold increase on 2006 levels and follows sustained, close co-operation between ACE UK and its members – Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc – and local authorities and consumer groups.
When ACE UK’s own bring-bank system is included, 89 percent of local authorities collect cartons for recycling.
Each year, approximately 60,000 tonnes of paper-based cartons are used in the UK, which equates to around 2.3kg of cartons per household, which could be recycled instead of being thrown away as waste.
Linda Crichton – “The 50 percent kerbside collection figure […] marks a real milestone and bodes well for the future of carton recycling in the UK. We will continue to support the carton industry in their strategy to increase the rate even further”
Ceredigion County Council has become the 203rd local authority, out of 406 nationally, to make it easier for residents to recycle cartons by adding them to its kerbside collection scheme.
A further boost is expected later this year with the opening of the UK’s only beverage carton reprocessing facility at the Sonoco Alcore paper mill near Halifax, West Yorkshire.
Capable of recycling 25,000 tonnes of cartons sorted from household and commercial waste streams, the facility will offer a range of benefits to local authorities and their waste management contractors – not least the assurance of a non-export market for this material stream. In fact, cartons collected in 187 local authority areas are already set to come to the new plant for recycling.
“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”, said Richard Hands, Chief Executive of ACE UK.
“In addition to Ceredigion County Council, we would also like to praise the 11 Northern Ireland councils which form the arc21 waste management group. All have now introduced kerbside collection of cartons and plan to send them to the new Sonoco Alcore plant for recycling.”
Linda Crichton, head of collections & quality programme at WRAP, comments: “The 50 percent kerbside collection figure is tribute to the efforts of ACE UK and its members. It marks a real milestone and bodes well for the future of carton recycling in the UK. We will continue to support the carton industry in their strategy to increase the rate even further.”