A step forward in beverage carton recycling, with an additive twist

Tetra Pak – a Swiss manufacturer of well-known beverage cartons, has been strongly involved in environmental protection for years. The main activities in this field include increasing the capacity to process waste from packaging, of which it is the main producer.

It might seem that cardboard is just cardboard, but nothing could be further from the truth. An essential element of every beverage packaging is an internal protective layer of aluminum and polyethylene foil, commonly called “polyAl”. It is the presence of “polyAlu” that is the source of the greatest challenges in the comprehensive recycling of food cartons. Currently, there are twenty specialized plants processing food cartons in the European Union, of which only seven further process “polyAl”, which has huge potential as a raw material.

Tetra Pak’s investment expansion in many European countries focuses primarily on increasing the capacity to recover polyethylene and aluminum from cardboard boxes. Within a few years, these capacities are expected to reach over 40,000. tone. The second pillar of Tetra Pak’s investment are technologies enabling the use of “polyAlu”. After separating it from the cardboard, it is processed into granules that can be heat treated, e.g. in an injection molding machine, and used to produce garden furniture or transport pallets. It can also be used to produce filament.

Tetra Pak started cooperation with Ecorevive and Maip Compounding, which created the ALFAPAK 3D brand, i.e. a “polyAlu” filament. It is worth mentioning that Maip Compounding is the owner of the Filoalfa brand and store, which deals with the production and commercialization of this material.

We have not used this material yet, but the manufacturer assures that it has high technical parameters, among others due to the admixture of carbon fibers.


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