Facts about beverage cartons
Beverage cartons are predominantly paper-based (>70%), with thin layers of polyethylene and one thin layer of aluminium which act as barriers against elements like air, moisture, sunlight. This keeps the food inside the pack safe and prevents spoilage, without the need of refrigeration.
Used beverage cartons are recyclable and are increasingly being recycled by recyclers across different parts of India.
UBCs, when recovered in a clean and dry state, are highly valued by recyclers like paper-mills due to the high quality of fibre which can be recycled easily into useful new items.
Recyclers across India
Today, UBCs are recycled by 4 independent recyclers across India –Deluxe Recycling (Maharashtra), Khatema Fibres (Uttarakhand), ITC Paper and Paperboards division (Tamil Nadu) and Easter Cargo (Gujarat). Together, these organizations have the capacity to recycle every single beverage carton sold in India.
Today, there are over 30 collection agencies across India, covering 22 states & UTs that help recover UBCs from waste for recycling. We continue to work hard to increase this network. Well over 40% UBCs sold in India are already being collected for recycling (Ref: TERI Report)
14 Indian Army contingents in North-East India also act as collection centres for UBCs and host baling machines on site to manage the waste and transport to the nearest recycler efficiently.
Through our member organizations, we invest continually in educating waste-pickers about the value of UBCs, and how collecting UBCs can help them earn additional income. This is done with support from independent grassroots organizations like BalVikasDhara, VikalpaFoundation, DBRC, Waste Warriors and many more.
Products made from recycled UBCs
UBCs can be recycled into various useful raw materials – paper, poly-al granules,composite board. These materials are used to create useful items such as roofing sheets, industrial pallets, furniture, seats for commercial vehicles, paper-products etc.
Some common examples of products made from recycled UBCs are –
- Seats and backrests of three-wheelers manufactured by Bajaj Auto. The company is one of the biggest buyers of panel boards made from recycled UBCs.
- UBCs are also recycled by ITC (Paper and Paperboards Division) into secondary packaging for everyday items such as tea, toothpaste, cosmetics etc for various organizations such as P&G and HUL.
- The waterproof polymer-aluminium material has been used to build outdoor bio-toilets as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission in Goa.
- Panel boards made from recycled UBCs are used to make industrial pallets that are used by many Food Corporations in India.
Efficient collection and recycling
AARC member organizations also invest significantly in raising awareness about segregation of waste at source, to ensure that UBCs are recovered in a clean & recyclable state (Eg: AlagKaro report)
Efficient collection and recycling is a collaborative effort. AARC members works in close collaboration with consumers, collection partners, municipal bodies, recyclers to increase collection and recycling of UBCs