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Beverage carton recycling plant set for UK

A beverage carton reprocessing facility will be established in West Yorkshire, a key industry group has announced.

The Alliance for Beverage Cartons & the Environment (ACE) UK has signed an agreement with paper and packaging producer Sonoco Alcore to establish the facility at its plant near Halifax.

The plant will be operational from next year and will be capable of recycling 25,000 tonnes of cartons sorted from household and commercial waste streams by local authorities and their waste management contractors.

ACE UK chief executive Richard Hands said the deal highlighted the commitment of its members, which include Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc and Elopak, to make beverage cartons more environmentally friendly.

He said: “The already low carbon footprint will become even lower, valuable materials will go back into the UK economy and local authorities can meet the expectations of many householders that their waste should be reprocessed in this country.”

Hands added: “We are confident that by the end of Year one, December 2013, a further ten local authorities will have started  collecting cartons in their kerbside service, sending them to the new mill for recycling by ACE UK and Sonoco Alcore.”

According to ACE, 89% of households can recycle cartons, either through kerbside collection or through the industry’s own bring-bank system, compared to 20% in 2006. Kerbside coverage in the UK has increased from 4% of local authorities in 2006 to 43% in 2012.

ACE UK also said that the mill would help create a UK market for the recycling of used beverage cartons and enable those local authorities with no-export policies on waste to recycle cartons in the UK.

The high-quality wood fibres found in beverage cartons are flexible and strong, and can be recycled making them a valuable raw material for new paperboard products.

The Sonoco Alcore plant will recycle the reprocessed paperboard layers into consumer and industrial products, such as the tubes for cling film and the cores for rolls of textiles.

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