Juice and milk cartons have long been one of the contributors to waste in South Africa’s landfill sites. In a major development for the South African paper and packaging recycling market, Mpact Recycling recently announced that liquid cartons are now recyclable.

John Hunt, Managing Director of Mpact Recycling, says it was previously not possible to recycle juice and milk cartons as they are not made of typical paperboard. It comprises of other layers made up of polyalu, which means the paper needed to be separated from the polyalu to be used.

This announcement follows the investment of R46-million in a Liquid Packaging recycling plant at Mpact’s Springs Paper Mill facility. “The recycling plant has the capacity to recycle 25,000 tonnes of used liquid cartons per annum, which will be fed directly into our paper division for use in new paper products,” says Hunt. Mpact Recycling’s role, through its extensive collection network of paper, containerboard, PET and now liquid packaging, is to supply its mills with sufficient volume to match its capacity.

This is why it has embarked on a campaign to raise consumer awareness that long-life milk and juice cartons are now recyclable. Consumers must ensure the cartons are empty and flattened. Where there is no kerbside collection, they can deposit their recyclable items in their nearest Ronnie bank at schools or community centres or, alternatively, cartons can be delivered to any of Mpact’s buy-back centres countrywide or to one of its sixteen Mpact Recycling operations for payment.

“Liquid carton packaging provides a category of waste that can be recycled and will add considerably to land preservation in South Africa as consumers can redirect cartons away from limited landfill space,” says Hunt.

“Whether you finish a carton of milk at breakfast or enjoy a boxed fruit juice for lunch, place your flattened, used container into your nearest recycling bin, whether at home, school or work. This way South Africans will be not only be doing their bit to keep the environment clean, but will also be helping to continue creating sustainable job opportunities throughout the recycling value chain,” concludes Hunt.

For more information, visit www.mpactrecycling.co.za