Drinks cartons recycled by Newtownabbey residents will be among the first to be reprocessed in the UK.
The situation will come about after Bryson Recycling became the first customer to sign up to the UK’s only beverage carton reprocessing plant.
Bales of used beverage cartons - collected by Bryson Recycling from kerbside schemes in Newtownabbey, Ballymena and Carrickfergus, covering more than 68,000 households - will be sent to the 25,000tpa plant in Stainland, West Yorkshire.
The Alliance for Beverage Cartons & the Environment (ACE) UK recently announced an agreement with paper and packaging producer, Sonoco Alcore, to establish the site.
At Bryson’s Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in Belfast, the cartons are separated from other recyclables and baled, before currently being shipped to Sweden for reprocessing via ACE UK.
When the new plant becomes operational in early 2013, there will be potential to create an innovative logistics scenario.
Lorries used to transport coreboard from the Sonoco Alcore mill in West Yorkshire to its converting factory in Lurgan, Co Armagh, could be backloaded with used beverage carton bales from the Bryson Recycling MRF for reprocessing back at the Stainland plant, reducing transport impacts.
Providing an opportunity to reduce the road and rail miles travelled by used beverage cartons for them to be recycled is just one of the benefits offered by the new reprocessing plant for waste management companies and their local authority partners.
Eric Randall, director at Bryson Recycling, said: “The ability to reprocess beverage cartons in the UK is great news for us and our local authority partners.
“At the heart of everything we do is the triple bottom line approach: social responsibility; environmental sustainability; and economic viability.
“Our agreement with ACE UK and Sonoco Alcore puts a big tick in all these boxes, so we’re delighted to be leading the pack as the first to sign up.”
To find out more about beverage carton recycling, visit: www.ace-uk.co.uk/recycling