Good news alternative milk lovers, you can recycle your clean Tetra Pak at Wastebusters.
Following a successful trial earlier this year, Wastebusters has now added Tetra Pak cartons, along with other similar liquid paperboard containers, to its materials accepted for recycling.
The liquid paperboard cartons will be accepted both through Wastebusters’ business recycling collections and at Wastebusters on-site recycling drop-offs.
So far, the trial has saved over 1.5 tonnes of Tetra Pak material from landfill – equivalent to the packaging from 204,082 soy lattes.
Tetra Pak, which is used for various liquid products like soy milk, almond milk, chicken stock and juices, consists of various layers of material, made up of 70% paperboard, 25% plastic (polyethylene) and 5% aluminium foil.
The cartons, like all plastic bottles and containers collected by Wastebusters for recycling, are being reprocessed onshore in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Wastebusters sends the Tetra Pak (and other liquid paperboard cartons) it collects to Hamilton where it is made into saveBOARD, a construction material for ceilings, internal walls and roofing substrate.
Ideally, to ensure the cartons are in the best condition for recycling, they should be cut along the top and side, opened flat and then washed clean.
Unlike other recyclable bottles and containers, you can leave the lids on your Tetra Pak cartons, as the plastic lids help the compressed cartons bond together in the saveBOARD manufacturing process.
Tetra Pak can not go in your kerbside recycling bins.
Wastebusters communications manager Gina Dempster said although there is now a recycling solution for Tetra Pak, Wastebusters still encourages people to avoid packaging where they can e.g. by making their own plant milk or chicken stock.
“Recycling is better than sending packaging to landfill, but the first question is always whether we can avoid having to use the packaging in the first place.”