Figures released by the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) UK show that the proportion of UK local authorities collecting beverage cartons for recycling from kerbside has hit 60 percent.
This milestone represents a 15-fold increase on 2006 levels when just four percent of local authorities collected cartons at kerbside and follows sustained, close co-operation between ACE UK, local authorities and consumer groups. When ACE UK’s own bring-bank system is included, 91 percent of UK local authorities now collect cartons for recycling.
The Norfolk Waste Partnership, comprising Norfolk County Council and the seven district councils, is the latest organisation to start collecting cartons at kerbside, pushing the percentage of UK Local Authorities collecting cartons at kerbside to 60 percent.
Adrian Akester, technical adviser to Norfolk Waste Partnership said: “We are very pleased to play such a positive role in increasing carton recycling in Norfolk. This has been thanks to fantastic work by all eight Norfolk councils in launching a new recycling scheme for our county on 1 October this year.
“It means all households now have the opportunity to recycle far more materials at the kerbside than ever before with the aim of increasing our collective recycling rate by five to 10 per cent. Residents can now recycle beverage cartons along with a range of other materials.
Jane Bevis, On-Pack Recycling Label scheme – “We applaud the hard work of so many local authorities working in partnership with ACE UK to put these kerbside services in place”
“So far the response has been excellent and we will all continue to work hard to divert as much waste as possible from landfill.”
The news comes just over a year on from the opening of the UK’s only beverage carton recycling facility at Stainland, West Yorkshire, a partnership between ACE UK and its partner Sonoco Alcore. Capable of recycling 25,000 tonnes of cartons sorted from household and commercial waste streams, the facility now receives cartons from 38 percent of local authorities, through kerbside and bring bank schemes.
Richard Hands, chief executive of ACE UK, said: “It is great news that the Norfolk Waste Partnership is now collecting beverage cartons at kerbside, taking us to the 60 percent milestone. Our members – Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc – are extremely pleased that their strategy to increase kerbside collection and make it easier for residents to recycle cartons is paying dividends.
“We have also just launched our re:cartons campaign to further increase carton recycling across the UK. Through the creation of a clear, easy to understand identity that everyone can immediately associate with beverage carton recycling, it will act as a platform to promote even greater carton recycling across the country.”
Jane Bevis, chair of the On-Pack Recycling Label scheme comments: “With household recycling rates in danger of stalling this is really important news – we know the easier you make it for consumers to recycle, the more that gets recycled. We applaud the hard work of so many local authorities working in partnership with ACE UK to put these kerbside services in place. Combined with OPRL members providing clear on-pack advice on how cartons can be recycled, these efforts make it more likely we can hit 2020 recycling targets.”
Beverage cartons are easily recycled using a simple pulping process, where the paperboard and non-fibre layers are separated and turned into new materials. The wood fibres can be used to produce new high-strength paper products, such as cores and tubes for consumer and industrial applications, while the polymer and foil layers can be recycled or recovered for energy recovery.