Stora Enso and Tetra Pak join forces to triple recycling capacity of drinks cartons in Poland

21/07/2021 – Packaging / Recycling / Beverages / Stora Enso / Tetra Pak / Drinks / Poland

Stora Enso and Tetra Pak join forces to triple recycling capacity of drinks cartons in Poland

Amounting to more than €29 million, the two companies’ investment in a complete recycling solution is set to significantly improve recycling throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

The partnership, which follows a comprehensive feasibility study, sees the introduction of a large-scale carton re-pulping line at Stora Enso’s Ostrołęka production unit in Poland. The line will triple the annual recycling capacity of used beverage cartons in Poland from 25,000 to 75,000 tonnes. This will allow recycling of the entire volume of beverage cartons sold in the country and the ones coming from neighbouring countries, including Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Of the total investment of €29.1 million, Stora Enso will invest €17 million into a new re-pulping line that will recover the carton fibres. Meanwhile, Tetra Pak alongside Plastigram, will invest a total of €12.1 million to build an additional line. It will recover and separately recycle the polymers and the aluminium, using a patented separation technology. Both lines will be operational at the start of 2023.

Towards a circular economy

The separated materials will be used as raw materials for various end applications. Recycled fibres will be integrated into Stora Enso’s recycled board. The separated polymers and aluminium will be given new life in the form of different kinds of products, such as pellets and foils.

The investment aims to contribute to the development of a circular economy at a country level. It will be fully aligned with the European Green Deal. The collected cartons will be managed in an environmentally sound manner, making full use of the materials resulting from the recycling process.

“Collaborative action is key”

“Today, carton packages are recyclable. They are collected and recycled at scale where waste management and recycling infrastructure is in place. But for us, that's not enough,” stressed Charles Brand, President of Tetra Pak Europe & Central Asia. 

“We are seeking opportunities across the entire recycling value chain to improve how cartons get recycled and to develop solutions that effectively recycle all packaging components, including polymers and aluminium,” he told Food & Beverage Networker. “Therefore, I am very proud of this investment as well as of the strong partnership with Stora Enso that made this advancement possible. Collaborative action is key to realise our ultimate ambition – a world where all carton packages are collected, recycled and never become litter,” he added.

Advancing towards a greater degree of recyclability

“Stora Enso delivers packaging materials produced from renewable sources. With this development we can advance towards a greater degree of recyclability, a critical factor in enabling a circular bio-economy,” advised Hannu Kasurinen, Executive Vice President of Stora Enso’s Packaging Materials division. 

“We are delighted to join forces with Tetra Pak in what will be another important milestone towards the fully circular future we expect to realise,” he continued. “Moreover, as EU collection systems continue to evolve, the project holds potential to increase capacity for future excess volumes.”

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