Paper, Plastic, Glass, Metal and…Cartons?!
Meet the newest accepted recycling material, Cartons!)
Though we covered this topic in a past eNewsletter edition, we’ve noticed some of our customers may need a little reminder. Cartons ARE in fact recyclable! Take a few minutes to read through this month’s edition of the ThinkBeforeYouThrow eNewsletter to learn a little bit about the latest addition to the recycling family.
How many of you have finished a carton of orange juice and stared at the container questioning whether it is recyclable? It appears to be made of paper, but on second notice, there is a mysterious wax or plastic coating on the outside. More often than not, the confusion behind this product results in its disposal in a waste receptacle instead of its proper home in the recycling bin.
A Little History
Although it was introduced into the market over 50 years ago, this type of material perplexed the recycling industry because of its complex nature for many years. Cartons are made up of the following materials:
- 70% Paper
- 24% (Polyethelene, LDPE Plastic)
- 6% Aluminum
The combination of these three materials allows for processed food to be preserved when sitting on the grocery store shelves, but this causes some hurdles when trying to recycle it. The three materials must be separated from one another in an isolated process called HYDRAPULPING, different from the standard processes used at a paper, plastics, or metals plant. This process allows the plant to harness the large amount of high quality paper that goes into making this type of packaging.
Groups like The Carton Council and Tetra Pak have actively worked to open up markets that can support the processing of this difficult material since it is so commonly used in the food packaging industry and is becoming more and more common. With their help, American Disposal Services is proud to haul all of your cartons to a MRF for recycling and processing!
What types of Cartons can I recycle?
There are several types of cartons you use each day that can be recycled. These include:
- Juice Cartons and Boxes (orange juice, lemonade, children’s juice boxes, etc.)
- Milk Products (cream, half and half, soy or grain milks)
- Soup and Broth Containers
Now you know!
Next time you are posed with the question, ‘Is this orange juice carton recyclable…?,’ you will be prepared to answer correctly. Cartons ARE recyclable! Spread the word!
*Images courtesy of the Carton Council