A new recycling line for post-consumer beverage cartons has commenced operations at Stora Enso’s production unit in Ostrołęka, Poland.

Stora Enso invested €17m ($18.7m) in the repulping line while other sustainable businesses Tetra Pak and Plastigram invested a total of approximately €12m to help build the new line.

The line has an annual capacity of 50,000 tonnes (t) and is expected to increase the country’s beverage cartons recycling capacity from 25,000t to 75,000t.

The recycling line separates fibres from associated polymers and aluminium, subsequently recycling these fibres into carton board materials.

This keeps quality resources in circulation and reduces the use of virgin content in the industry.

According to Stora Enso, the line can absorb all the beverage cartons sold in Poland, as well as additional volumes from neighbouring countries, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

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Stora Enso Packaging Materials executive vice-president Hannu Kasurinen said: “We are very pleased to see the results of our close cooperation with Tetra Pak, who, like Stora Enso, has the development of sustainable solutions at their core.

“This new modern solution marks a significant addition to European recycling capacity and a concrete step forward in the circularity of consumer packaging. In addition to complementing the current scope of our production site in Poland, the recycling facility will significantly contribute towards the recycling and waste reduction goals of the EU’s proposal for a Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation.”

The announcement comes shortly after Stora Enso opened a corrugated packaging production factory at its De Lier site in the Netherlands.