You can now recycle your food and drink cartons from home

11 July 2022

Image of a child drinking juice from a carton

Cartons, often referred to as TetraPaks, can now be recycled through your weekly recycling collections by adding them to your red recycling box.

“Although it has been possible to recycle food and drink cartons at the Household Waste Recycling Centres for a while, we know it isn’t always practical for everyone to use the facilities for these every-day items.” Explains Cllr Jackie Charlton, Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys.

“Following your requests and feedback, we have been working hard behind the scenes to find a feasible way to include these cartons within the weekly recycling collections and are now delighted to be able to add them to the list of items which can now be recycled in your red box.”

The types of cartons we can now accept in the kerbside red recycling boxes are drink cartons such as juices, smoothies and milk, and food cartons, such as soup, tomatoes and pulses. Just give them a quick rinse, squash, and add to your red recycling box.

After your recycling has been collected and delivered to the county’s waste transfer station, the cartons are separated from the plastics and cans and baled together. These bales are then collected by the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) UK, who process them at their dedicated reprocessing facility.

Commenting on the council’s decision, Richard Hands, Chief Executive of ACE UK said. “It is great news that Powys County Council has decided to send the cartons they collect to our dedicated recycling facility. As well as having a low carbon footprint, the high-quality wood fibres found in food and drink cartons can be recycled up to six times, making them a valuable raw material for new paper products.”

Cllr Charlton added: “Powys households have already proven to be dedicated recyclers, and we know you are keen for us to develop ways to help increase recycling opportunities wherever possible. The introduction of cartons to the red box will help us keep up the county’s recycling momentum to meet the next Welsh Government target to recycle, reuse or compost 70% of our waste by 2025.”

As a reminder, in the red boxes we can now collect:

  • Clean and empty plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays
  • Clean and empty tins, cans, kitchen and bathroom aerosols, foil and metal lids
  • Clean and empty food and drink cartons