In 2016, the European Union recycled 47 percent of all beverage cartons placed on the market, or some 430.000 tonnes, according to the latest industry figures gathered by ACE, the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment. The combined weight of beverage cartons recycled or recovered rose to roughly 700.000 tonnes, corresponding to a total recovery rate of 76 percent.

“We are very pleased to note a substantial increase in the recycling of our cartons across Europe in 2016. At the same time, separate collection is a prerequisite to any type of recycling, meaning we are also satisfied that beverage cartons are increasingly collected, in turn allowing for them to be recycled,” said Annick Carpentier, Director General of ACE.

Much progress has been made since the early nineties when ACE began tracking the recycling rate of beverage cartons in Europe. In particular, EU Member States with appropriate packaging collection systems in place achieve increasingly high recycling volumes. Unfortunately, however, several Member States still lag behind when it comes to developing proper collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure.

“The lack of separate collection hampers increases in packaging recycling. While the beverage carton industry is truly committed to supporting increased recycling, it needs regulatory support to enhance collection in order to secure existing and future investments in innovative recycling technologies,” said Carpentier.

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