GreenYes Archives
[GreenYes Archives] - [Thread Index] - [Date Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]

[GreenYes] Plastic-coated food and drink boxes
One of the packaging types you're talking about is called "aseptic" 
containers--most commonly used for milk, soymilk, rice milk, and juice boxes, 
but also used increasingly in other applications, such as tomato sauces and 
soups (especially in Europe).  They are actually composed of 6 or 7 
alternating layers of material, including high-grade (long-fiber) paperboard, 
polyethylene plastic film, and thin aluminum foil.  In the markets where they 
are recycled (including where I live in Central and Eastern Massachusetts), 
they are sent to certain paper plants for recycling (in a hydrapulper), along 
with the  plastic-coated "gable-top" milk and juice cartons which you also 
mentioned.  To the best of my knowledge, only the fiber is recovered; the 
plastic and aluminum are screened out as residue and are thrown away, at 
least in the U.S.  In Canada, they appear to be making composite widgets with 
the residue (seedling pots and such).  
You can learn more about this stuff (from a company perpective) in the FAQ 
section of the Tetrapak Canada website:
It is difficult to track down a useful U.S. website for them.

Regarding how much of is actually recycled in the U.S., I think the markets 
are still quite limited, as is collection of this material.  

Anyone have anything to add?

Jennifer Gitlitz
Senior Research Associate, Container Recycling Institute
1010 Pleasant St.
Worcester, MA 01602
Phone: (508) 793-8516
eFax: (520) 833-0460
To post to the greenyes list,
email to:

Subscription information for
this list is available here:

[GreenYes Archives] - [Date Index] - [Thread Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]