Europe’s Major Recycling Hub for Beverage Cartons Launches Operations, Supported by Stora Enso and Tetra Pak

A cutting-edge recycling line, established at Stora Enso’s Polish production site, is poised to triple the nation’s annual capacity for recycling post-consumer beverage cartons.

The facility has the potential to process the entirety of beverage cartons sold in Poland, alongside additional volumes from Central and Eastern Europe, effectively contributing to the circular economy by reusing valuable resources and minimizing the use of virgin materials.

With a combined investment of approximately EUR 29 million from Stora Enso and Tetra Pak, a new recycling line for post-consumer beverage cartons has commenced operations in Poland. Stora Enso has injected roughly EUR 17 million into a new repulping line dedicated to reclaiming carton fibers, while Tetra Pak and Plastigram have collectively invested around EUR 12 million to construct the new line.

The line, situated at Stora Enso’s Ostrołęka production unit, has an annual capacity of 50,000 tonnes. It specializes in separating beverage carton materials, extracting fibers from polymers and aluminum. These fibers are subsequently recycled into carton board materials, contributing to the circularity of materials by converting used paper-based packaging into fresh, sustainable packaging materials. Additionally, Czech company Plastigram Industries, in collaboration with Tetra Pak, is developing a solution to recycle polyAl1 into new products.

Lars Holmquist, EVP Sustainability & Communications at Tetra Pak, emphasizes the company’s dedication to enhancing beverage carton recycling capacity and their commitment to contributing up to €40 million annually over the next few years. He stresses their support for the industry’s goal to increase the collection and recycling rates of beverage cartons in the EU to 90% and 70%, respectively, by 2030. Hannu Kasurinen, EVP Packaging Materials at Stora Enso, applauds the collaboration with Tetra Pak, noting the facility’s substantial contribution to the EU’s proposed Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation.

The launch of this new recycling hub in Europe signifies the beverage carton industry’s commitment to promoting circularity goals, showcasing the crucial role of recycling in fostering sustainable practices within the food packaging sector. With significant investments already made and further plans for expansion, the industry is actively aligning itself with the green transition agenda, pledging to invest approximately EUR 120 million by 2027.

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