Hi-Cone, the manufacturer of ring carriers for the beverage industry, has partnered with TerraCycle to encourage consumers to recycle the plastic carriers.
The new recycling scheme, which will launch in May 2019, will create a UK-wide network of public access ring carrier recycling points. Community groups and individual consumers are encouraged to set up locations for their communities, where the public can drop off ring carriers post-use, which can be sent, free of charge, to TerraCycle for recycling.
According to the British Plastics Federation, 99% of local authorities in the UK collect plastic bottles at the curbside, and 76% collect pots, tubs and trays. However, items such as ring carriers are collected and recycled by very few authorities.
As a result, Hi-Cone and TerraCycle now aim to spearhead the effort to ensure ring carriers can be collected and recycled, allowing them to have a new life post-use as items such as park benches, outdoor furniture and composite lumber.
Hi-Cone president Kenneth Escoe said: “We are extremely excited to be launching this new
initiative with TerraCycle, which means that our product is now fully recyclable in the UK. Moving forward, our goal is to recover and reuse as many plastic ring carriers as possible worldwide, and the TerraCycle partnership helps us to achieve that. Hi-Cone has long been dedicated to reducing its environmental impact and this latest project forms part of a broader strategy that will ensure ring carriers are 100% recyclable or compostable by 2025.
The plastic ring can holders will be recycled to make items such as park benches, outdoor furniture and composite lumber.
“It is vital that packaging producers take the lead in pushing sustainable programmes forward, and that is why we have stepped in at this stage of our own journey to champion this process with TerraCycle. We will be monitoring the progress of this initiative very closely as it rolls out in the UK, and will then assess the possibility of widening its scope further into Europe, the US and beyond.”
Laure Cucuron, general manager at TerraCycle Europe, added: “To date, we have some 80 million people engaged in collecting waste materials across 21 countries and typically these programmes are funded by brands or municipalities.
“It is therefore very refreshing to have a packaging manufacturer such as Hi-Cone engaging with us and taking responsibility for the materials it sends into circulation. We have a shared responsibility to close the material loop and we would encourage more packaging producers to work with us and to follow the example Hi-Cone is setting.”
Earlier this month, Intersnack Group subsidiary KP Snacks partnered with TerraCycle to launch a recycling scheme for its packs of nuts, popcorn, crisps and pretzels.
Packaging will be cleaned and made into small plastic pellets, which will then ultimately be recycled into items including outdoor furniture, waste bins or storage boxes.