The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK) has released figures revealing that the proportion of the UK's local authorities collecting beverage cartons from the kerbside for recycling has increased to 66%.
The figure marks a 16-fold increase compared to 2006, when only 4% of local authorities collected cartons from the kerbside.
After the introduction of ACE UK’s bring-bank system, 92% of UK local authorities are now collecting cartons for recycling with South Hams District Council in South Devon, according to the organisation.
South Hams District Council operational manager for waste Neil Greenhalgh said: “We have listened to residents, reviewed suggestions, and made changes based on this feedback.
"This is a major milestone for recycling in the South Hams. Residents already recycle a lot of cartons at recycling banks and this will enable residents to recycle at home as well.”
The collected cartons will be recycled at the facility located at Stainland, West Yorkshire, which is operated as a joint venture between ACE UK and its partner Sonoco Alcore.
The facility is capable of recycling 25,000t of cartons collected from household and commercial waste streams.
It currently procures cartons from 35% of local authorities under kerbside and bring-bank schemes.
Beverage cartons are recycled using a simple pulping process which separates paperboard and non-fibre layers for the production of new materials.
Recycled wood fibres can be used to produce new high-strength paper products, while separated polymer and foil layers can be used to manufacture garden furniture items, mats and construction materials.
Image: A beverage carton bring-bank. Photo: courtesy of ACE.