As part of a campaign to keep plastic ring carriers for multipack beverage cans out of general waste streams, Hi-Cone, in partnership with specialist recycling company TerraCycle®, has launched a UK-wide initiative to facilitate their recycling and to inform consumers how they can engage with the process.
Consumers will be able to ensure ring carriers are kept in the recycling loop by simply downloading a freepost label from ringrecycleme.co.uk, then sending them to TerraCycle® directly through the post. The scheme also offers the chance for consumers to set up public access drop-off locations for whole communities to recycle their plastic ring carriers together. The aim is to build a network of these public access drop-off locations across the UK to make it as easy as possible to recycle.
Major brands such as Walkers Crisps and Acuvue have already achieved results through similar initiatives with TerraCycle®, helping the public to recycle more both through increased awareness and dedicated infrastructure. Hi-Cone, a specialist manufacturer of ring carriers, has been the driving force behind this latest campaign, and both companies are keen to see ring carriers put to further good use in products such as park benches, outdoor furniture and composite lumber, as opposed to entering general waste streams.
T. Kenneth Escoe, President of Hi-Cone, commented: “We are extremely excited to have launched this new initiative with TerraCycle®, which means that our product is now fully recyclable in the UK. This is a crucial step on our journey to recover and reuse as many plastic ring carriers as possible worldwide, and is the first of many planned phases to help communicate to consumers that these carriers can be recycled to great effect. The message is simple: the infrastructure is in place, now let’s work together to use it effectively.
“Hi-Cone is fully aware of its responsibilities as a company that places packaging into the retail supply chain, and this latest project forms part of a broader proactive strategy to create a circular economy, within which the ultimate aim is to ensure recycled ring carriers can be reused for the same purpose again and again. This is a huge leap forward on the way to achieving that goal, and we are determined to make it a success.”
Many local councils do not currently have the capabilities to recycle all plastics through kerbside collection programmes, and it is not always clear which packaging formats are accepted. Initiatives such as these, therefore, are becoming vitally important. Consumers can recycle their plastic ring carriers by searching online for their nearest dedicated collection point or by simply downloading a freepost label to send their plastic ring carriers to TerraCycle® directly. It is the first time a beverage packaging manufacturer has been actively involved in such a programme anywhere in the world, and TerraCycle® is keen to build on this going forward.
Laure Cucuron, General Manager, at TerraCycle® Europe, added: “Typically, these programmes are funded by brands or municipalities – entities that have direct contact with the end consumer – so it is very refreshing to have a packaging manufacturer such as Hi-Cone engaging with us and taking responsibility for the materials it sends into circulation. It would be easy for them to remain in the background, so its highly commendable that Hi-Cone acknowledges the shared responsibility and opportunity to close the material loop and is proactively seeking to make a positive and significant impact. We would encourage more packaging producers to work with us and to follow the example Hi-Cone is setting.”
The ring carrier recycling initiative is now fully operational.