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Beverage carton alliance disappointed by Defra's Packaging Strategy

Members of the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment UK (ACE  UK) are disappointed the Packaging Strategy focused on end-use measures of recycling packaging rather than packaging production using renewable materials.

Launched in June, the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs published its report Making the Most of Packaging: A Strategy for a Low Carbon Economy. (See MRW story) This laid out Defras aims for the next ten years to end unnecessary excessive packaging and optimise and recycle packaging.

Carton manufacturers Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combiblock are the ACE UK members.
ACE UK believes using renewable materials to make packaging that can be replaced or replenished is more holistic than recycling high carbon impact materials.

Elopak director Mark Eaves said: Increasing the share of renewable content in packaging can lower its carbon footprint. So, while we welcome any move towards carbon-based measurement, which could have significant benefits both for the environment and in helping the Government achieve its stringent carbon reduction targets, omitting renewability from the strategy is extremely worrying and raises a question over its longevity and sustainability.

Beverage cartons are 75 per cent wood fibre on average, which is a renewable resource and according to ACE UK, helps reduce global CO2 levels because trees absorb it.

ACE UK has invested heavily in various collection methods and schemes, ensuring that nearly 90 per cent of local authorities collect cartons for recycling either from the kerbside or via bring banks. Although there are no Tetra Pak reprocessing facilities in the UK, they can be collected and shipped to Sweden for reprocessing.

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