Gone are the days when school children had to drink milk from glass bottles - now they drink from Tetra Pak cartons. Each year 200 million milk cartons are used in primary schools and 35 million in secondary schools and now thanks to a new initiative, launched by Tetra Pak and the carton industry under the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) UK, these cartons can be recycled.
The Business and Schools Carton Recycling Scheme will expand carton recycling further across the UK. Last year Tetra Pak launched bring bank collection schemes for local authorities across the UK.
Expanding on its existing infrastructure, Tetra Paks new service enables schools and businesses to contact their local carton recycling contractors through a web portal. Schools can then get a quote and set up collection.
Fay Dashper said: In most schools free milk is given to children and this produces an awful lot of cartons that could be going to recycling rather than other disposal routes.
We should have carton recycling across all walks of lifewhether it is through schools or homes to reinforce the message that it is easy to recycle.
Dashper said that many teachers have expressed interest in the new scheme he looks forward to seeing more schools and businesses get involved.
Tetra Pak cartons are made from 70% renewable paper fibre, 25% polythene and in some cases 5% aluminium. Once cartons are collected by contractors they are sent to the Tetra Pak Orebro mill in Sweden. But they are not recycled back into Tetra Pak cartons - instead they are recycled into a number of different products, ranging from plasterboard liner to paper bags and envelopes.
Image: Tetra Pak beverage carton banks