Question From: County Councillor Jackie Charlton Subject: Tetra cartons
I have been alerted to the little known fact that at Brecon Recycling Centre you can dispose of Tetra Cartons. Could I ask how many cartons are collected, how widely is this advertised and where do they go from Brecon?
Response by Head of Service:
Tetra Pak containers are a laminated mix of paperboard, metal foil, and plastic film, sometimes also including hard plastic spouts on some containers. These materials are made by just a small number of manufacturers who have grouped together to form a consortium, ACE UK. ACE UK provides a single point of contact for enabling the collection and recycling of this material stream in the UK, at Sonoco Recycling, in Halifax.
Sonoco’s facility is setup in a similar way to a paper/cardboard recycler, they soak and pulp the material in order to separate the different materials. It uses a longer pulping time than what is used to recycle paper or cardboard alone and so has to be handled at a dedicated facility. All of the individual materials (paper, foil and plastic) are then able to be recycled back into feedstock for new cartons.
In Powys, we collected 9.25 tonnes of this material from our Household Waste Recycling Centres in the last financial year (2020/21), with 1.6 tonnes from the HWRC in Brecon. All of this material was taken to Sonoco’s plant and fully recycled. In terms of the advertising, I will ask the team to look into this further as I’m mindful not everyone is aware of this facility.