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Tetra Pak and Gayatri Paper Mills‘ partnership has reached fruition with the operational launch of the first carton recycling facility of its kind in South Africa during the week of World Environment Day.

The partnership between food processing and packaging Tetra Pak and recycling operation Gayatri Paper Mills ensures the complete, environmentally responsible and friendly lifecycle of the carton from cradle to grave, as 6 000 tonnes of used beverage cartons per annum are destined for local reuse.

The partnership is looking for rapid annual expansion in the volume of recycled material which will be sold back into local industry. It creates wealth from waste and sustainable local revenues.

This partnership is part of Tetra Pak’s ongoing global programme to boost recycling rates. In 2010 Tetra Pak supplied 158 billion individual packages used by food and beverage companies around the world to deliver over 74 billion litres of milk, juice, fruits and other products to consumers. Thirty two billion used cartons were recycled globally that year which eliminates more than 473 kilo tonnes of waste and provides the base material for a host of new products.

The model is based on established carton recycling businesses in Brazil and seeks to include partners from local businesses to government and entrepreneurs.

Several direct jobs have already been created by the partnership with many more knock-on jobs for balers and collectors. Tetra Pak works closely with local recycling programmes to provide an extensive base for consumers to recycle their household carton waste, both as part of suburban home collection programmes and drop off sites at schools, key retailers and some industrial drop off areas.

Lists of recycling drop off points can be found at www.tetrapak.co.za and www.mywaste.co.za.

Read the full feature in the August edition of ReSource magazine.

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