Image Credit: Jay Lopez/Jacqui O'Brien
A few years ago, it is was very difficult to recycle Tetrapak cartons. Few councils collected them in their roadside collecctions and huge numbers went to landfll.
Now most local councils offer Tetrapak recycling as part of their kerbside collections.
Tetrapaks are made from 70 to 90% paperboard which is recyclable just like any other paper or card. The reason that Tetrapak cartons cannot be included with our normal paper recycling is the aluminium foil liner and polyethylene cap included with the carton.
For many years, before they could be included in kerbside collections or taken to local recycling centres, Tetrapak themselves did offer to recycle their packaging; however this did mean packing them up yourself and posting them (at your own expense).
Since 2006, Tetrapak have offered advice and financial support for councils to initiate recycling schemes, so your local council don’t really have any excuse for not recycling them!
If you want to recycle your Tetrapak cartons, you need to rinse them out and then flatten them. You do not need to remove the plastic cap; it is removed during the recycling process.
If your local council does not yet collect Tetrapak cartons for recycling, write to your council and ask them what they are going to do about it and request that they introduce Tetrapak recycling.
If you cannot include them in your kerbside collection, they can usually be taken to your local recycling centre.
To find out more visit tetrapakrecycling.co.uk which includes an interactive map showing which local councils offer kerbside collections or have collection facilities at recycling banks.
They also have some fun recycling information for kids and schools at smartoncartonrecycling.co.uk.
About the Author: Jacqui O'Brien is the Editor of Reduce Reuse Recycle.
Updated 10th February 2017