Hi-Cone, the specialist manufacturer of ring carriers for the beverage industry, has become the first non-branded company to partner with TerraCycle to recycling drinks can ring carriers.
TerraCycle works with environmentally conscientious companies to offer consumers free and easy recycling solutions to move waste from a linear system to a circular one.
As a result of these initiatives, ring carriers, such as those produced by Hi-Cone, can be given a new life, becoming useful items like park benches, outdoor furniture and composite lumber, for example.
While, according to the British Plastics Federation (BPF), 99% of local authorities in the UK collect plastic bottles at the kerbside, and 76% collect pots, tubs and trays, other items such as ring carriers are collected and recycled by very few local authorities, TerraCycle says.
Hi-Cone – “It is vital that packaging producers take the lead in pushing sustainable programmes forward, and that is why we have stepped in at this stage of our own journey to champion this process with TerraCycle.”
As a result, Hi-Cone and TerraCycle have decided to spearhead the effort to tailor recycling techniques to individual waste streams where specialist beverage packaging is concerned, ensuring ring carriers can be collected and recycled, allowing them to have a new life post-use.
The main aim of the initiative, which according to TerraCycle is the first of its kind globally, is to educate and encourage consumers to recycle ring carriers via simple, hassle-free channels.
TerraCycle also has partnership with brands such as Walker’s Crisps and Acuvue Contact Lenses to set up collections for the recycling of difficult materials. Consumers can search online for their nearest dedicated collection point, or can sign up as a private collector and download freepost labels to send their used ring carriers in for recycling.
T Kenneth Escoe, President Hi-Cone, commented: “We are extremely excited to be launching this new initiative with TerraCycle which means that our product is now fully recyclable in the UK. Moving forward, our goal is to recover and reuse as many plastic ring carriers as possible worldwide, and the TerraCycle partnership helps us to achieve that.
“Hi-Cone has long been dedicated to reducing its environmental impact and this latest project forms part of a broader strategy that will ensure ring carriers are 100% recyclable or compostable by 2025.
“It is vital that packaging producers take the lead in pushing sustainable programmes forward, and that is why we have stepped in at this stage of our own journey to champion this process with TerraCycle.
“We will be monitoring the progress of this initiative very closely as it rolls out in the UK, and will then assess the possibility of widening its scope further into Europe, the US and beyond.”
Laure Cucuron, General Manager, at TerraCycle Europe, added: “To date, we have some 80 million people engaged in collecting waste materials across 21 countries and typically these programmes are funded by brands or municipalities. It is therefore very refreshing to have a packaging manufacturer such as Hi-Cone engaging with us and taking responsibility for the materials it sends into circulation.
“We have a shared responsibility to close the material loop and we would encourage more packaging producers to work with us and to follow the example Hi-Cone is setting.”
The new recycling scheme aims to create a UK-wide network of public access ring carrier recycling points. Community groups and individual consumers are encouraged to set up locations for their communities where the public can drop off ring carriers post use, which can be sent, free of charge, to TerraCycle for recycling.
Community collection points can be established by groups such as schools, charities, and community groups, at easy to access locations.
The TerraCycle initiative will commence in May 2019.