The challenge: in Switzerland, nine out of ten consumers want to recycle their beverage cartons but recycling infrastructure has thus far not enabled it. Without legislation to provide a legal framework, the country’s used beverage cartons were ending up in incineration. Voluntary initiatives across the value chain are therefore key to drive recycling of beverage cartons in Switzerland.
Less than ten years ago only 18% of US households had access to carton recycling. Today this has grown to 60%, taking carton recycling mainstream across the US.
Tetra Pak is a founding member of The Carton Council of North America which worked hard to build sustainable recycling infrastructure for beverage cartons.
A 60% household access rate translates to carton recycling in 12,500 US communities and 82 of the top 100 US markets In turn it means Tetra Pak customers can include the Carton Council’s ‘Please Recycle’ logo, without the qualifier ‘where facilities exist’, on their cartons.
“This is an important milestone that could not have been achieved without the hard work and collaboration among our public and private partners,’’ said Jason Pelz, Cluster Leader Environment Americas and Carton Council Vice President of recycling projects. “The logo helps eliminate the lingering misconception among consumers that cartons have to be thrown away with their other household waste.”
Research by the Carton Council shows the package is overwhelmingly the first place where people go to check if it can be recycled. More than two-thirds of consumers say they would assume a package is not recyclable if it did not have a recycling symbol or text on it. Post-consumer recycling is a top priority for Tetra Pak and an essential part of our environmental agenda.
Our contribution to the Carton Council initiative forms part of the work we do to reach our recycling objectives.
The recycling rate for aseptic cartons in Japan is low in comparison with chilled cartons. Tetra Pak Japan is therefore expanding the collection network in corporation with customers, recyclers, paper dealers and retailers. Tetra Pak Japan has set up a website that allows consumers to find the closest collection point to their location. Even if there is no local collection point, a recycling courier service is available to take used cartons to a recycling paper mill. Over 11,000 people are now registered with this service.
We believe our responsibility doesn’t end when we sell our packages. Recycling gives beverage cartons a new life, but have you ever wondered how?Follow the journey (pdf).
Billions of Tetra Pak cartons are recycled every year, yet many consumers are still unaware cartons can be recycled or don’t know where to recycle them. In cooperation with customers and partners we raise recycling awareness around the world.
Without demand there is no incentive to collect cartons or make products from recycled materials. So we are constantly looking for new ways to repurpose used beverage packages into innovative and profitable products.
Would you like to know more about our recycling initiatives?