42%: Beverage carton recycling in Europe continues to increase

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Quelle: Tetra Pak

Brussels — The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) has noted that recycling of beverage cartons reached 42% in Europe (EU-28, Norway and Switzerland) in 2013. This represents an increase of 3% compared to 2012 data. The total recovery rate (recycling and energy recovery) in 2013 reached 71%.  

“With 42% of beverage cartons recycled in the EU in 2013, we see a continued upward trend in beverage carton recycling in Europe, but there are still wide differences as regards recycling achievements across EU Member States,” says Katarina Molin, Director General of ACE. “While some Member States have reached impressive recycling figures above 60%, several Member States still lag behind in the development of collection infrastructure and separate collection of consumer packaging, which also affects the recycling rate of beverage cartons”.

Beverage carton rate (Source: ACR)
Beverage carton rate (Source: ACR)

Today more than 20 paper mills recycle beverage cartons in Europe and substantial investments have been made in innovative recycling technologies. “We are very pleased to see that beverage carton recycling continues to increase. However, in order to secure continued growth also in the future, EU regulatory support and a clear legal requirement to collect beverage cartons for recycling are required”.

“We acknowledge the role of the European Commission Circular Economy Package in driving further recycling in Europe,” says Katarina Molin, “but we regret that the proposal mandates Member States to set potentially divergent packaging design requirements threatening the function of the Internal Market; and that clear roles and responsibilities of the various actors in the packaging value chain, as well as clear requirements for all packaging recovery organisations (PROs) have not been defined at European level. We will continue to contribute to the further development of the Circular Economy package to find solutions which help increase beverage carton recycling on a cost-efficient manner”.

Source: Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE)