Stora Enso and Tetra Pak are jointly examining a shared beverage carton recycling solution to meet the growing recycling need in Benelux, responding to the demand for circular paper-based packaging solutions. The joint feasibility study includes a plan for a comprehensive beverage carton recycling facility at Stora Enso’s Langerbrugge site in Belgium. Processing of the fibers would take place at the Langerbrugge site, while the polymer and aluminum barrier materials would be recycled by a dedicated partner.
Approximately 75,000 tonnes of beverage cartons are put on the Benelux market annually, a growing volume of which more than 70% is already collected for recycling. Currently, there is no existing beverage carton recycling infrastructure in Benelux. This collaboration between Stora Enso and Tetra Pak would create a complete recycling system for beverage cartons in Benelux and surrounding regions.
Within the solution, Stora Enso would process collected beverage cartons and recover the fibers. The recycled fibers would serve as source material for producing recycled containerboard within the Langerbrugge site, delivering a fully circular solution. Tetra Pak would secure a recycling solution for polymer and aluminum materials to be processed by a dedicated partner.
The recycling project is linked to Stora Enso’s recently announced feasibility study to potentially convert one of the Langerbrugge site’s paper lines into a high-volume recycled containerboard line. This feasibility study is expected to conclude in the first half of 2023. Upon on a decision to invest, the recycled containerboard line is expected to be in production during 2025. The joint study with Tetra Pak will follow the same timeline.
The proposed recycling line in Langerbrugge will initially process an estimated 50,000 tonnes of recycled cartons per year with the potential to increase.
“With this joint initiative, we underline our commitment to local recycling progress and improving infrastructure in Benelux, a region with high volumes of collected beverage cartons. Stora Enso is a trusted and important partner which has the know-how and experience we need in fiber recycling. Together with them, we have the potential to put in place a circular solution that helps us secure a world where a growing number of carton packages is collected, recycled and we can minimise litter,” says Chakib Kara, Managing Director France & Benelux, Tetra Pak.
“At Stora Enso, we constantly pursue opportunities to deepen our commitment to a circular packaging future. Circularity advancement requires smart investments and collaboration with the right partners. By working jointly with Tetra Pak, we can simultaneously create value, enhance circularity, and grow our competitiveness,” states Markku Luoto, VP LPB Aseptic and CUK, Stora Enso.
Beverage cartons contain high-quality fresh fibers that are an excellent source material for producing recycled paper containerboard. The Langerbrugge site offers a strategically important location to enable a local paper-based packaging circularity solution. Further, beverage carton collection for recycling is already advanced in Benelux.