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J&B Recycling Knowledge

Carton Recycling and Disposal

Carton Recycling and Disposal

The UK produces almost 80 millions of tonnes of packaging waste each year! Cartons, commonly used for milk and other drinks in both the home and the workplace, contribute significantly to these figures. In the UK, a significant effort has been made to promote recycling and responsible waste management. One area that has gained attention in recent years is carton recycling and disposal.

The Rise of Carton Packaging

Cartons, commonly used for packaging beverages, such as milk, juice, and soup, have become an integral part of our daily lives. They offer convenience, protection, and an extended shelf life for perishable goods. As their usage has grown, so have concerns about their environmental impact.

Carton Recycling

Challenges of Carton Recycling

Cartons are primarily composed of two materials: paperboard (made from wood pulp) and plastic (polyethylene). The combination of these materials presents challenges for recycling. In the past, cartons were often considered difficult to recycle due to the complex separation process required to recover the individual components. In recent years, the UK has made remarkable progress in carton recycling, thanks to technological advancements and a growing awareness of the importance of sustainable practices. The recycling process for cartons has been streamlined, making it more feasible and economically viable.

How do I know if a carton is recyclable?

Most cartons can be recycled in your kerbside recycling scheme as long as they are clean and dry, though we do advise that you check with your local authority first as guidance differs and some councils don’t accept certain types of cartons and packaging.

Always check the label on the carton. This can sometimes be tricky as labelling can be a bit confusing. If in doubt, check out our guide >> Recycling Symbols Explained.

How are cartons recycled?

At the mill the baled cartons are dropped into a pulper, similar to a giant domestic food mixer, filled with water, and pulped for around 20 minutes. This breaks down the packaging to produce a grey-brown mixture. The aluminium foil and polyethylene are separated from the fibre, which is recovered to make new paper products, whilst the remaining mix of plastic and aluminium can then be used in furniture, to generate energy or even separated out into pure aluminium and paraffin.

Tetra Pak approved Contractor

In 2007 J&B Recycling became a Tetra Pak approved contractor and worked with Tetra Pak, as part of ACE UK, to develop and implement a collection round for Local Authority bring site facilities throughout the North East and Scottish Borders for all types of Food and Beverage Cartons. This service was then expanded by J&B to include cartons from schools and businesses. This collection round is now serviced by J&B Recycling on a weekly basis and our site has the capability to handle and process all cartons which are baled as a separate material and then sent to a dedicated paper mill.

J&B Recycling provide waste management solutions for business across the North of England. Our main Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) is based in Hartlepool and we have a second site in Middlesbrough, making us ideally placed for collections across Teesside (Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Darlington). We also have a site in Washington and we operate established collection routes throughout Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Sunderland, North Tyneside and Northumberland. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if we can help with your waste collection.

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