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Filling & Packaging 12.05.2021

Innovation and investment bring advancements for beverage carton recycling

EXTR:ACT, the European platform to improve and increase the recycling of beverage cartons and similar fibre-based multi-material packaging in Europe, is pleased to provide an update on the successful and innovative steps taken by different companies …

Innovation and investment bring advancements for beverage carton recycling
(Photo: EXTR:ACT)

EXTR:ACT, the European platform to improve and increase the recycling of beverage cartons and similar fibre-based multi-material packaging in Europe, is pleased to provide an update on the successful and innovative steps taken by different companies to recycle the non-fibre components of beverage cartons throughout Europe. As of today, the below projects allow roughly 50,000 tonnes of non-fibre components of beverage cartons to be recycled annually.

EXTR:ACT expects ongoing activities in recycling to separate the valuable non-fibre components (so-called PolyAl rejects) from beverage cartons after having gone through the process of fibre extraction in the paper mill. The current European projects for PolyAl-recycling include:

  • Ecoplasteam’s recycling plant in Italy
  • ReconPolymers in the Netherlands
  • Plastigram in the Czech Republic
  • Palurec in Germany, which is operated by the beverage carton manufacturers.

“With these projects, roughly 30 % of the European volume of these PolyAl rejects will now start being recycled in new material cycles, where, for example, the recovered plastics and aluminum can be used in different applications as a substitute for virgin material,” said Michael Brandl, Managing Director of EXTR:ACT. “Further expansion of these processing options is expected for the near future, underscoring the investment and innovative solutions being explored to ensure that the beverage cartons placed on the EU market remain the most sustainable packaging solution as outlined in the industry’s 2030 Roadmap.”

The recycled plastic components can be used in products such as plastic pipes, boxes or panels, while the aluminum will be compounded and used in products such as motorblocks, metallic varnish, and other materials.

The Roadmap, launched by EXTR:ACT’s industry partner ACE (The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and theEnvironment), highlights the industry’s commitment to having 90 % of all beverage cartons collected for recycling, and to have at least 70 % of all beverage cartons recycled by 2030. The Roadmap also outlines the industry’s commitments and targets for delivering the most sustainable packaging for resilient food supply systems which is renewable, climate positive and circular. The continuous expansion of recycling capacities will further strengthen the positive contribution of beverage cartons to the environment.

ABOUT EXTR:ACT
Founded in 2018, EXTR:ACT is the European platform dedicated to increase the recycling of beverage cartons and similar fibre-based multi-material packaging. Focused on the technical process of such multi-material recycling from start to finish, EXTR:ACT works with the entire value chain to ensure that multi- material packaging is designed with the life cycle in mind and is able to be collected, sorted, recycled and reused in varying markets.

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