BRUSSELS, Sept. 28, 2016 (Press Release) -Europe recycled 44% of beverage cartons in 2015, according to industry-wide figures. This corresponds to some 400.000 tonnes, or over 16 billion used beverage cartons recycled, in more than 20 paper mills in Europe. The total recovery rate (recycling and energy recovery) reached 74%.
Annick Carpentier, Director General of ACE, the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment, said: “Our sector is committed to supporting and promoting beverage carton recycling, and we are happy to report a continued year-on-year increase.”
There are still wide differences in recycling achievements across EU Member States. In those that efficiently separate packaging waste collection, beverage carton recycling reaches up to 70%. Following a voluntary initiative to collect cartons in 2015, the Netherlands saw a substantial increase in recycling rates.
“Recycling of milk or juice cartons used in homes across Europe can be increased further. ACE suggests collecting all packaging separately, combined with a ban on landfilling packaging waste. Industry has been focusing on innovation in recycling solutions for our packaging, which is made of responsibly sourced, low-carbon renewable materials. Legal obligations such as these would provide much needed security for investment in recycling infrastructure,” said Carpentier.
ACE (the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment) provides a European platform for beverage carton manufacturers and their paperboard suppliers to benchmark and profile cartons as renewable, recyclable and low carbon packaging solutions. Engaging with stakeholders and partners seeking high environmental stewardship, it contributes expertise to EU policy, legislation and standard‐setting.
ACE members include beverage carton producers Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc and Elopak; they develop, manufacture and market systems for the processing, packaging and distribution of food, and produce packaging material at 20 plants in Europe. About 98% of the paperboard used by ACE members in beverage cartons in Europe is produced by Stora Enso in Skoghall (Sweden) and Imatra (Finland), and BillerudKorsnäs in Gävle and Frövi (Sweden), who are also members of ACE. These paper mills and the beverage carton manufacturers in ACE together employ close to 30,000 people worldwide.