Cartons are a composite packaging material, as they are not made from paper alone but comprise of paper (about 75%), plastic (around 20% of polyethylene) and a 4-5% aluminium foil (for long-life products).
Please note that, Local Authorities recycling websites use different names for these products such as: Tetrapak, Tetra-Pak, cartons or food and drink cartons.
After use, they must be washed, squashed and then recycle. All of the materials used in the manufacture of beverage cartons are fully recyclable.
Table 1 – Tetrapak recyclability in 5 Local Authorities across UK
|England||London Westminster||Mixed recycling||Description: cartons (Tetrapak). You can recycle it in your mixed recycling. Remember to rinse and squash your cartons, and screw the lids back on before recycling. The cartons will be sorted from the other items at the Materials Recovery Facility.|
Put into your blue bin, sack or box.
|Description: tetra-pak cartons (food and drink)|
|Scotland||Edimburgh||Green wheelie or lidded bin||Description: tetra-pak cartons (food and drink)|
|Wales||Cardiff||Special Tetra pak recycling banks at Bessemer Close recycling centre||Description: Tetra Pak food cartons. We can’t accept Tetra paks in your green recycling bags as they are made of mixed materials. Please put them in the special Tetra pak recycling banks at Bessemer Close recycling centre|
|Northern Ireland||Belfast||Recycling bin. If you have 2 recycling boxes and a small green bin put it in the black one, if you have 3 stacked recycling boxes (wheelie box) and a small green bin put it in the red one.||Description: food and beverage cartons|
This is the end of our fourth short story on waste materials. We hope that you found it informative.
A final note. Just in England, there are 350 Local Authorities collecting household waste. Waste devolution usually brings a lack of consistency in the materials accepted for recycling across Boroughs and this create confusion.
Would recycling be easier, if you could rely on a mobile app that given your location will let you know which one is the right bin for each item? Click here to know something more about it.
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