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Packaging Industry Drives Carton Recycling Programs

cartonrecycling2Signaling a shared commitment to sustainability, four leading carton manufacturers — Tetra Pak, Elopak, Evergreen Packaging and SIG Combibloc — have established the Carton Council to help increase carton recycling in the United States.

The council plans to promote both recycling technology and local collection programs. It will also encourage consumers to consider the environmental impact of product packaging before they make a purchase. As examples, both gable top and aseptic cartons are made primarily from paper, a renewable resource that is highly recyclable.

The $35 billion U.S. market for food and beverage packaging has plenty of opportunities for growth in sustainable packaging options, according to a new report on paper, plastic, metal, glass and flexible packaging for the food and beverage industries. According to the second annual Beverage Container Recycling Scorecard and Report, most beverage companies continued to fail basic criteria for dealing with environmental implications of their packaging.

According to the Carton Council only 26 states have communities that are able to recycle carton. One of the first alliances established by the council to increase carton recycling is with Waste Management, which has agreed to include cartons in all its recycling programs.

Tropicana, Waste Management, Dean Foods and the Carton Council launched a pilot program in Tampa, Fla., to promote carton recycling, reported Environmental Protection. The initiative is now expanding to include all areas that Waste Management has recycling processing facilities.

Tropicana, Waste Management and the Carton Council also announced a national campaign to increase carton recycling to every community in the U.S. The paper board used in Tropicana’s juice cartons has received certification to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) fiber sourcing standard.

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