As a nation we use around 60,000 tonnes of cartons every year - that's the same as the weight of 349 blue wales! The good news is that recycling cartons is becoming much easier, with more and more local authorities collecting them at kerbside.
Why is it important to recycle cartons?
Recycling cartons helps to save natural resources and reduce the amount of waste that is incinerated or sent to landfill.
How are cartons recycled?
Cartons are made from 70-90% paperboard, which is recyclable just like any other paper or card. The carton lining is made from plastic and aluminium and needs to be removed from the paper before it can be recycled.
After being collected, cartons are sorted from other recyclables. After removing the lining materials, the paper is mixed with water and pulped for 20 minutes to break it down into a fibrous solution. This is then dried, rolled out and made into new products.
How are recycled cartons used?
Once cartons have been recycled into rolls of new material it can be made into new products like tubes for hot chocolate and gravy.
The plastic and aluminium from carton linings can also be made into products like garden furniture, play mats and building materials.
How to recycle cartons
Whilst more and more local authorities are now able to accept cartons at the kerbside it is important that you check locally to see what your authority accepts using our Recycling Locator tool below.
If you do have a kerbside collection for cartons remember to squash them before putting them in your recycling bin. Squashing your cartons means they will take up to a third less space in the collection vehicle making your collections more efficient and reducing the number of vehicles on the road.