Finding recycling options for food and beverage packaging made from plastic and aluminum laminates – such as pouches for drinks or pet food and aseptic drink cartons – has always been a challenge.
If you don’t live in one of the handful of communities that offers pick-up or drop-off collection for aseptic cartons, your only option is to mail in these packaging products to TerraCycle for recycling.
But Kraft Foods and Nestlé hope to make recycling of this difficult material more widespread, announcing a new partnership with United Kingdom company Enval that has developed a technology to recycle laminate packaging.
The food and beverage companies will support the construction of the first commercial-scale plant for Enval’s patented technology; the recycling equipment manufactured will ultimately be sold to other waste handling companies.
Enval’s technology separates the laminate packaging material into its constituent components, producing clean aluminum that can be recycled into new products. The plastic is converted into a pyrolysis gas, which can be used to generate electricity.
With construction of the new plant to kick off soon, Enval hopes operations can begin sometime next year, said David Boorman, Enval’s business development director, in a statement.