Drinks carton industry sets 10% recycling target

A target to increase the recycling rate for cartons from the current 1.8% to 10% by 2008 has been set by the Liquid Food Carton Manufacturers Association. Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg have rates above 60%, while the European average is 30%.

Around 60,000 tonnes of drinks cartons are disposed of in the UK each year. The UK's first recycling plant for drinks cartons came on stream at the Smith Anderson Group's mill in Fife in November 2003 (ENDS Report 337, p 12 ). The fibre is mainly used to make paper bags.

Although 14 local authorities collect cartons to send to the plant, research by the association has revealed that around 140 more are interested in adding cartons to their kerbside collection schemes.

Cartons are also involved in a pilot front-of-store scheme at six Sainsbury's stores in Greater London. The scheme is funded by the Waste and Resources Action Programme and managed in conjunction with Valpak.

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