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Tetra-Pak spearheads news $3.5M juice box, milk carton, plastic bag recycling project in Quebec

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Tetra-Pak spearheads news $3.5M juice box, milk carton, plastic bag recycling project in Quebec

October 27, 2010 - 11:25
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YAMACHICHE, QC, Oct. 27, 2010 (Market Wire) -Canada has made a leap forward in consumer packaging waste diversion. Today, a cutting edge recycling line was launched at Groupe RCM's recycling facility in Quebec; a local project that's part of a larger industry strategy to optimize end-of-life carton management in Canada. The launch is the end result of a three-year development and represents a $3.5 million investment, spearheaded by Tetra Pak as part of its larger, aggressive national recycling plan. Tetra Pak and its corporate partners A. Lassonde Inc., and Natrel, along with Quebec government corporation Recyc-Quebec collectively provided Groupe RCM with $1 million in seed capital.

The new recycling process, the first of its kind in the world, breaks down carton, plastic bag and film waste into a thermoplastic resin which will be used in industrial and commercial manufacturing.

The line accepts all gable top and aseptic cartons, as well as plastic shopping bags and cellophane films from sorting centres in the Quebec market. A thermokinetic process uses high-speed knives to homogenize disparate waste materials into plastic granules that can later be used for making a wide variety of plastic products including: flower pots, railway ties, guard rail posts, pallets and plastic lumber. The process is waste-free, converting all elements, including straws, caps and other plastic attachments, into plastic granules.

"We're proud of the innovation and collaboration that took place amongst all of the partners we worked with to make this project a reality," said Yvon Picotte, President, Groupe RCM. "It's a smart and efficient way to transform post-consumer paper and plastic containers into useful, everyday goods; and it has created 25 local jobs in Yamachiche, including several positions designated for people with physical or cognitive disabilities. Our new recycling line is a win-win-win situation."

"The new line in Yamachiche is an important local enhancement to the recycling solutions we have in place in Canada and worldwide. It is important to us that we create new solutions to improve the recycling rates of our cartons and by collaborating with the Canadian recycling industry we can develop new technologies," said Santiago Fourcade, Managing Director of Tetra Pak Canada. "We know that by investing in the facility we are creating new solutions, not just for the lifecycle of Tetra Pak cartons, but for all Canadians."

This investment aligns with the greater awareness and concern that Canadians have for recycling in general. According to an EKOS survey commissioned by Tetra Pak, more than 80 per cent of Canadians feel recycling is worth the effort(1). The same survey indicates over 70 per cent of Canadians check to see if an item is recyclable before disposing.

"The launch of this locally-developed recycling line is a testament to the vision, creativity and know-how of all the partners," said Jean Gattuso, Chief Operating Officer Lassonde Industries Inc. and President and Chief Executive Officer of A. Lassonde Inc. "This project aligns perfectly with our mission to produce and market food products that by their quality and variety contribute to the enjoyment and wellness of consumers."

"We are a major user of Tetra Pak packaging for our Oasis juice brand and also for our Bistro Mundo and Arte Nova wines, among others," continued Gattuso. "Our firm is committed to being a leader in environmental performance and this technological breakthrough enables us to meet our customer's demand for containers whose ecological footprint is small."

"We're proud to be associated with this initiative. Environmentally, it provides our industry with more options and a new carton recycling end-market to Quebec", said Mr. Serge Paquette, President, Agropur Division Natrel.

"Launching this new line of multilayer container and plastic bag processing has allowed us to fulfill a specific need in Quebec's recycling industry. This technological breakthrough has also made it possible for RECYC-QUEBEC to complete various other projects, including the Recyclable Bag Certification Program and the Separate Collection Chart of Recyclable Materials, which encourages municipalities to include multilayer containers and plastic bags in their separate collection," says Mrs. Ginette Bureau, CEO of RECYC-QUEBEC.


Founded in 1981, Groupe RCM Inc. is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to create jobs for people with physical or cognitive limitations, while improving environmental quality through the recovery and reclamation of recyclable domestic and industrial waste. The social economy enterprise employs a staff of 180, of whom 83% are people with physical or cognitive limitations, and processes over 40,000 tonnes of waste annually.


Tetra Pak is the world's leading food processing and packaging solutions company. Working closely with our customers and suppliers, we provide safe, innovative and environmentally sound products that each day meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people in more than 170 countries around the world. With almost 22,000 employees based in over 85 countries, we believe in responsible industry leadership and a sustainable approach to business. Our motto, "PROTECTS WHAT'S GOODTM," reflects our vision to make food safe and available, everywhere. More information about Tetra Pak Canada Inc. is available at


A. Lassonde Inc., a subsidiary of Lassonde Industries Inc., was founded in 1918. A leading Canadian juice manufacturer, the firm develops, manufactures and markets an innovative, distinctive line of fruit and vegetable juices and beverages. It markets its products in all Canadian provinces and the New England states, under various brands (Rougemont, Fruite, Oasis, Feeling, Fairlee, Allen's, Graves, Orange Maison, Everfresh, Fairlee Nature's Best, SunLike, Tropical Grove, Olinda, Old South, Niagara, Junior Juice, Revive and Regain). Its production and warehousing facilities are located in Rougemont, Quebec (2 plants); Ruthven and Toronto, Ontario; Calgary, Alberta; and Port Williams, Nova Scotia. It also operates two firms in related lines of business: an industrial apple juice supplier in Thornbury, Ontario, and a direct distributor of juices, drinks and beverages in Montreal, Quebec. It also imports selected wines from various countries for packaging and marketing purposes. The company currently has nearly 1,000 employees.


Founded in 1990, Natrel, a division of the Agropur cooperative is a leader in Canada's dairy industry. It operates 8 plants in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, employs 1,866 people and processes nearly 1.1 billion litres of milk annually. Natrel, whose head offices are located in Longueuil, supplies close to 30,000 customers and offers a wide range of products, including well-known brands such as Quebon, Natrel and Sealtest. Agropur Cooperative operates globally in 26 plants in Argentina, United States and Canada and processes 3.1 billion litres of milk annually and offers an impressive array of products including a number of renowned brands (Quebon, Oka, Sealtest, Natrel, Island Farms, Yoplait, La Lacteo, Trega, and Schroeder).


For 20 years, RECYC-QUEBEC, a government corporation, has led, implemented and coordinated waste development activities through program management, knowledge development, and mobilization of key players in order to reduce waste being generated, and thereby reduce the amount of waste being eliminated. RECYC-QUEBEC is the corporation in charge of coordinating the development activities included in the Politique quebecoise sur la gestion des matieres residuelles.