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EU beverage carton recycling rate rises for 12th consecutive year

26/09/2018 EU beverage carton recycling rate rises for 12th consecutive year

The beverage carton industry has welcomed the latest figures on beverage carton recycling in the EU, showing that 48% of cartons were recycled in 2017. This is up from 47% in 2016 – and is the 12th consecutive year the rate has increased.

Commenting, Annick Carpentier, Director General of the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) in Brussels said: “ACE members have a long-standing commitment to recycling. Having very much welcomed the revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and the introduction of mandatory separate collection of packaging waste, ACE is working with national beverage carton associations to support recycling performance across Europe. 

“To this end, the members of ACE – BillerudKorsnäs, Elopak, SIG, Stora Enso and Tetra Pak – have decided to launch a new platform to coordinate the industry’s engagement in recycling across Europe. We are pleased to see that recycling of our cartons is growing each year and we are convinced that this trend will continue with the implementation of EU waste legislation and new industry initiatives.”

Richard Hands, Chief Executive of ACE UK, which represents carton manufacturers Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc in the UK, said: “Our sector is committed to supporting and promoting beverage carton recycling and the continuing upward trend in the EU carton recycling rate in 2017 is good news.

“We in the UK also welcome the revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive – which the UK Government has already said it will implement. Our focus continues to be on building access to recycling facilities for all. Last year we hit our milestone of two out of every three or 66 % of UK local authorities collecting beverage cartons at kerbside for recycling, and this is now at 67%.”

Hands added: “When recycling bring banks are included, 92% of local authorities now collect beverage cartons for recycling, ensuring that the vast majority of households in the UK have access to a carton collection system.”

ACE UK has a dedicated recycling team which offers advice and support to local authorities and community recycling networks wanting to collect cartons. An interactive map on the ACE UK website ( also helps residents find out where and how they can recycle beverage cartons in their area. 

To find out more about beverage carton recycling, visit: 


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Beverage carton recycling in the UK

  • Total no. of
  • Local authorities collecting
    354 (93%)
  • Local authorities collecting cartons from kerbside 250 (66%)
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