Tetra Pak & Stora Enso invest in a complete beverage carton recycling solution

The investment in a complete recycling solution is set to significantly improve recycling throughout Central and Eastern Europe.
Tetra Pak & Stora Enso invest in a complete beverage carton recycling solution
Tetra Pak and Stora Enso join forces to triple the recycling capacity of beverage cartons in PolandPhoto - Tetra Pak

The partnership, which follows a comprehensive feasibility study, sees the introduction of a large-scale carton repulping line at Stora Enso's Ostrołęka production unit in Poland. The line will triple the annual recycling capacity of used beverage cartons in Poland from 25,000 to 75,000 tons. This will allow recycling the entire volume of beverage cartons sold in the country and neighboring countries, including Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.

The total investment is EUR 29.1 million. Stora Enso will invest EUR 17 million into a new repulping line that will recover the carton fibers, while Tetra Pak, along with Plastigram, will invest a total of EUR 12.1 million to build an additional line. This will recover and separately recycle the polymers and the aluminum using a patented separation technology. Both lines will be operational by the beginning of 2023.

According to the press statement, the separated materials will be used as raw materials for various end applications. Recycled fibers will be integrated into Stora Enso's recycled board. The separated polymers and aluminum will be given new life in the form of different kinds of products, such as crates and foils.

The investment aims to contribute to the development of a circular economy at a country level. It will also be fully aligned with the European Green Deal. The collected cartons will be managed in an environmentally sound manner, making full use of the materials resulting from the recycling process.

Charles Brand, president of Tetra Pak Europe & Central Asia, said, "Today, carton packages are recyclable. They are collected and recycled at a scale where waste management and recycling infrastructure are in place. But for us, that's not enough. We seek opportunities across the entire recycling value chain to improve how cartons get recycled and develop solutions that effectively recycle all packaging components, including polymers and aluminum. Therefore, I am very proud of this investment and the strong partnership with Stora Enso that made this advancement possible. Collaborative action is key to realize our ultimate ambition – a world where all carton packages are collected, recycled, and never become litter."

Hannu Kasurinen, executive vice president of Stora Enso's Packaging Materials division, said, "Stora Enso delivers packaging materials produced from renewable sources. With this development, we can advance towards a greater degree of recyclability, a critical factor in enabling a circular bioeconomy. We are delighted to join forces with Tetra Pak in another important milestone towards the fully circular future we expect to realize. Moreover, as EU collection systems continue to evolve, the project holds potential to increase capacity for future excess volumes."

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