Jason Pelz, vice president of the Carton Council, joins Earth911 to talk about progress in beverage carton recycling, which is up more than 280 percent over the last decade. Founded in 2009, when carton recycling rates were stuck at six percent, the Carton Council is an alliance of beverage packaging manufacturing companies. Pelz, who is also the director of circular economy projects at Tetra Pak, shares the group’s goals for 2025 and beyond. He also takes a pop quiz on how cartons can be recycled with flying colors.
Carton packaging is made from paper fiber and other materials; it is a composite that was not accepted by most recycling programs in 2009. As new technology improves the ability to break down composite materials, more programs have added cartons to their accepted materials list. Today, 61 percent of homes in the United States have curbside access to carton recycling.
By passing more than 60 percent of homes with carton recycling, carton manufacturers now can place the recyclable label on their products. We discuss the three major carton recycling operations in the U.S. and the Carton Council’s plans to reach 75 percent of homes by 2025.
Do you know whether a milk carton should be put in the blue bin with the cap or off? This podcast answers that question and many more.