Tetra Pak to build Egypt recycling plant

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tetra Pak supplies milk, juices and cheese cartons to manufacturers in Egypt.
Tetra Pak supplies milk, juices and cheese cartons to manufacturers in Egypt.

Related tags: Recycling, Waste management

Tetra Pak has partnered with Akef Pack-tec, an Egyptian shopping bag manufacturer to open a recycling plant in Egypt, in Q4 2014.

Mohamed Ismail, environment manager, marketing, Tetra Pak Egypt, told FoodProductionDaily, the program, called LION, will create a stock preparation factory producing concentrated pulp and separates for PolyAl (polystyrene and aluminium).

The company has donated $337,000 to the project and plans to open a second site by mid-2015. 

Used Beverage Cans

The major challenges for recycling in this region are twofold: we need a dedicated site for UBC (Used Beverage Cans) recycling as we don't have any here and, this is the first dedicated plant to receive UBCs in Egypt​,” he said. 

We want to create a collection stream. It’s not easy to build a material stream in the waste world, especially in a voluntary lead waste management system like Egypt​.

It is neither regulated nor organized but very lean and profitable therefore, the model has to be profitable and attractive to waste collectors​.” 

NGO supervision

Ismail added Tetra Pak and Akef have agreed to open the plant to entrepreneurs under monitored NGO supervision to transform unorganized waste collections into micro companies with a recycling contract to start up their own collection centers.

The purpose of the facility is to increase recycling rates in Egypt and the factory will start commercial production in Q4 2014​,” he said.

Along with our partner and other interested parties, we will provide investment in the form of collection tools and press machines but entrepreneurs will have to pay a cost share to take ownership and report performance guidelines under strong supervision from participating NGOs​.” 

Tetra Pak, held an Innovation in Action event this month with Laila Iskandar, Egypt’s Minister of State for Environmental Affairs along with about 80 representatives from the dairy, cheese and juice sectors, to share case studies with Egyptian producers.

Cheese growth

According to Anders Lindgren, MD, Tetra Pak Egypt, currently around 35,000 tons of UBCs are recycled. Tetra Pak recycles around 20% of that, which is 5,000 to 6,000 tons. The company’s $337,000 donation would boost that share from 20 to 30%, bringing final recycling capacity to 12,000 tons.

He added its production of cheese packages is growing by more than 40% while growth in milk and juices averaged between15% to 20 with increased investments from Juhayna, Faragalla, Green land and Domty.

Currently all Tetra Pak supplies for Egypt are produced at the company’s factories in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, but Lindgren expressed a desire to establish a factory in Egypt.

Lindgren said in Egypt, the company works in milk, where their biggest customer is Juhayna with 65% of the market; juices, where their main customer is Faragalla; and cheese.

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