The partnership, which follows a feasibility study, sees the introduction of a large-scale carton repulping line at Stora Enso’s Ostrołęka production unit in Poland. The line will increase the annual recycling capacity of used beverage cartons in Poland from 25,000 to 75,000 tonnes. This will allow recycling of the entire volume of beverage cartons sold in the country as well as ones from neighboring Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The total investment is €29.1m ($34.2m). Stora Enso will invest €17m ($20m) into a new repulping line to recover the carton fibers, while Tetra Pak, along with Plastigram, will invest €12.1m ($14.2m) to build an additional line. This will recover and separately recycle the polymers and the aluminum, using a patented separation technology. Both lines will be operational by the beginning of 2023.
The separated materials will be used as raw materials for various end applications. Recycled fibers will be integrated into Stora Enso’s recycled board. The separated polymers and aluminum will be given new life in the form of different kinds of products, such as crates and foils.
The investment aims to contribute to the development of a circular economy at a country level. It will also be aligned with the European Green Deal. The companies said the collected cartons will make full use of the materials resulting from the recycling process.
“Today, carton packages are recyclable. They are collected and recycled at scale where waste management and recycling infrastructure is in place. But for us, that's not enough. We are seeking opportunities across the entire recycling value chain to improve how cartons get recycled and to develop solutions that effectively recycle all packaging components, including polymers and aluminum,” said Charles Brand, president of Tetra Pak Europe & Central Asia.
“Therefore, I am very proud of this investment as well as of the strong partnership with Stora Enso that made this advancement possible. Collaborative action is key to realize our ultimate ambition – a world where all carton packages are collected, recycled and never become litter.”
Hannu Kasurinen, executive vice president of Stora Enso’s packaging materials division, said, “Stora Enso delivers packaging materials produced from renewable sources. With this development we can advance towards a greater degree of recyclability, a critical factor in enabling a circular bioeconomy. We are delighted to join forces with Tetra Pak in what will be another important milestone towards the fully circular future we expect to realize. Moreover, as EU collection systems continue to evolve, the project holds potential to increase capacity for future excess volumes.”