The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment has announced that the recycling rate for beverage cartons in the EU28 rose to 49% in 2018. This is a small (1%), but steady increase in the EU beverage carton recycling rate from the previous year. 

Some Member States reach rates above 70%, while ACE says that there is still room for increased recycling participation in other Member States. 

“This is not enough if the EU wants to reach a low carbon circular economy. We call for the ambitious implementation of EU waste legislation at national level to ensure all beverage cartons are collected and recycled. We believe that the recycling rate will continue to increase thanks to our industry’s commitment to support beverage cartons being recycled, including the non-fibre components,” said Annick Carpentier, Director General of ACE.

In addition, ACE has launched a four-month campaign, “We’re not just square, we’re circular,” to raise awareness and build understanding that beverage cartons are recyclable and being recycled at scale in Europe. The campaign also aims to highlight their argument that beverage cartons have a low carbon footprint due to the renewability of materials used. 

“Beverage cartons provide a double circularity, at sourcing thanks to the renewability of their main components and at end-of-life through recycling. This double circularity helps ensure that beverage cartons play a role in helping achieve a low carbon circular economy,” continued Ms. Carpentier.

Speaking on the challenges facing this drive towards circularity, Ms. Carpentier said that “Without collection there is no recycling. There is a clear correlation between collection and recycling rates.  A national collection or recycling target for beverage cartons would ensure that beverage cartons are duly recycled into new products.”