Carton recycling collection facilities are now provided by 85% of UK local authorities, according to latest figures. Tetra Pak national recycling operations manager Fay Dashper called the figure huge progress.
In 2006, when around 40 local authorities collected used cartons, Tetra Pak made £300,000 available to councils to fund used carton collection schemes. The following year, it launched a £1.2 million national recycling fund with carton industry body Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK) to increase this number further.
Dashper told MRW that local authorities with energy-from-waste facilities (about 17 or 4%) were unlikely to introduce carton collections, leaving around 49 local authorities who were still sending them to landfill.
Authorities not yet covered include Cumbria, Cornwall, Buckinghamshire and Kent and these are all waste partnership areas where the decision mechanism is not as quick, Dashper said.
We would love to get the remaining waste partnerships on board and see local authorities move to kerbside collection and UK processing capacity to improve so that we are able to deal with this on our own shores, she added.
While test loads of cartons are being sent to some UK mills, the vast majority are sent to Sweden or Norway for reprocessing. Dashper confirmed that councils with policies of reprocessing materials in the UK only have refused to introduce carton recycling schemes. But she added there would be little point in moving the carton reprocessing from Sweden and Norway until we know we can do it on a large scale and it is sustainable.