The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) UK has reported that beverage carton recycling is continuing its growth across the European Union (EU) member states.
According to industry-wide figures, Europe recycled 44% of its beverage cartons in 2015.
The figure is equivalent to around 400,000t, or more than 16 billion used beverage cartons recycled in more than 20 paper mills across Europe.
Last year, the total recovery rate, including recycling and energy recovery, reached 74%.
ACE, which provides a platform for European beverage carton manufacturers, stated that collecting all packaging individually and banning it from landfills would improve the circular economy of the region.
Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment director general Annick Carpentier said: “Our sector is committed to supporting and promoting beverage carton recycling, and we are happy to report a continued year-on-year increase.
“Recycling of milk or juice cartons used in homes across Europe can be increased further. ACE suggests collecting all packaging separately, combined with a ban on landfilling packaging waste.
“Industry has been focusing on innovation in recycling solutions for our packaging, which is made of responsibly sourced, low-carbon renewable materials. Legal obligations such as these would provide much needed security for investment in recycling infrastructure.”
Last year, after initiating a voluntary plan to collect cartons, the Netherlands was able to increase the country’s recycling rates.
Image: Beverage carton recycling rates (EU). Photo: courtesy of ACE.