In just four months, Tetra Pak has co-invested over EUR 11.5 million with recyclers and industry players, to help set up four completely new recycling solutions for carton packages in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Australia. From building recycling capacity from scratch via cross-border cooperation (in Saudi Arabia), expanding that capacity by 50% (in Turkey), tripling the production capacity for the cartons' PolyAl element (in Ukraine) to leveraging a public/ private partnership (in Australia), these projects share one single, critical trait. They will enable recycling of all components of a used carton package, transforming them into quality materials and goods.
Once fully operational, the new solutions will be able to process up to an additional 45,000 tonnes of used carton packages, enabling global carton package recycling to exceed 50 billion a year. This translates to significantly improved recycling in the respective countries, and in some cases also in the neighbouring ones.
Tatiana Liceti, executive vice president for Market Operations at Tetra Pak, comments, “Carton packages are recycled across the globe, where efficient waste management and recycling infrastructures are in place. Accelerating this requires all stakeholders to play an active role, including governments, local authorities, producers and consumers. Sustainability is one of the top three priorities for our customers, and these new facilities will help contribute towards meeting their goals.”
Working collaboratively to advance recycling and to realise a circular economy has always been core to Tetra Pak’s sustainability strategy. The company’s pioneering investments and partnerships over the last ten years have helped over 170 recycling operations across the globe to process carton packages. What’s changing is the pace of action.
As shown by the latest Tetra Pak Index, approximately 50% of consumers are likely to recycle more this year as part of their personal contribution to tackling climate change. In addition, when asked who should find solutions to environmental and waste issues, consumers rank packaging companies third – behind food and beverage brands and governments.
Key conditions to meet this rising demand include:
Convenient access to collection infrastructure
Clear sorting of waste
Sufficient recycling capacity
This heightened awareness amongst consumers highlights the importance of having industrial solutions in place that can support a shift in recycling habits.
Lars Holmquist, executive vice president for Sustainability and Communications at Tetra Pak, concludes, “With more time being spent at home due to COVID-19 restrictions, the household waste ‘footprint’ is more visible. In a bid to address this, consumers are adapting their daily routines, and taking greater action. We are helping them on this journey by raising awareness on how they can actively help recycle, while co-investing in expanding recycling capacity and developing innovative technologies, so that post-consumer carton packages can be reintroduced into the economy. All this, in collaboration with food manufacturers, municipalities and recyclers across the entire recycling value chain. These new investments are a testament to the joint drive needed to realise our ultimate ambition - a world where all carton packages are collected, recycled and never become litter.”