Latest figures from the Alliance for Beverage Cartons & the Environment (ACE UK) show that a third of UK local authorities now collect beverage cartons for recycling from the kerbside.
Waltham Forest and West Oxfordshire District are the latest councils to introduce kerbside collection, bringing the total figure to a third nationally, rising to 61% in London.
Richard Hands, Chief Executive of ACE UK, comments: "After significant investment in recycling from our members – Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc and Elopak – the beverage carton industry has shown what can be achieved when building a nation-wide recycling infrastructure from scratch, in less than four years.
"Overall, 88% of households in the UK now have access to carton recycling – either through kerbside collection or the industry’s own bring-bank system – but we’re keen to push further still. In particular, we’re committed to making recycling easier for the consumer and we urge local authorities to continue to work with us to increase kerbside coverage. We’re delighted that Waltham Forest and West Oxfordshire have helped us to reach this new milestone."
John Parkinson, Interim Head of Street Scene at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: "We started a new waste and recycling service at the end of 2010 and this has enabled us to introduce beverage carton recycling from April this year. Our Council is very keen to give residents as many opportunities as possible to recycle and beverage cartons are the latest in a long list of materials that they can recycle as part of the weekly collections we operate.
"Previously, residents could take these cartons to a local recycling facility, but we are pleased that they can now conveniently recycle these at home. We feel it is important to make recycling as simple as possible for our residents and they have been doing a fantastic job."
Beverage cartons are easily recycled using a simple pulping process, where the paperboard and non-fibre layers are separated and turned into new materials. The wood fibres can be used to produce new high-strength paper products, such as envelopes and carrier bags, while the polymer and foil layers can be recycled or used for energy recovery.