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Packaging

Click on any of the below for more information:


Paper and Cardboard:

  • Paper is made up of long fibres, so every time it is recycled, those fibres will be shortened, making it harder to be recycled the next time.
  • The average number of times paper can be recycled is about five to seven times. From that point, it can be made into a paper paste and used to make things like newspaper or egg cartons. 
  • Paper recycling involves mixing the paper with water and chemicals to break it down, forming a sludge.  It is then chopped up and heated, which breaks it down further into pulp.  It is strained through screens, which remove plastic (especially from plastic-coated paper that may still be in the mixture) then cleaned, de-inked, bleached, and mixed with water.  Then it can be made into new recycled paper.
  • In many cases, paper and cardboard factories use their waste products as a source of fuel.
  • Recycling one ton of newspaper saves about 1 ton of wood while recycling 1 ton of printing or copier paper saves slightly more than 2 tons of wood.
  • 86% of cardboard and paper in the EU is recycled, 10% is sent to landfill, and 7% is incinerated.
  • While paper is a better packaging alternative to plastic, if everything was packaged in cardboard it would mean a lot more trees would need to be cut down. So zero packaging is a better solution overall.
  • Paper Recycling Video.

Glass:

  • Glass can be recycled infinitely.  The glass is crushed into small pieces and any contaminants such as paper, plastic lids or corks, stones, ceramics and metals are removed.  When a fine sand has been created it is then melted down and remade into new glass.
  • Glass recycling video.

Metal:

  • Metals such as aluminium (drink cans), steel (tin cans), copper and iron can all be recycled.
  • Tin cans and aluminium cans are processed at materials recovery/recycling plants.
  • Larger and heavier items such as saucepans, cookware and frying pans should be brought to your nearest civic amenity site where they will processed as scrap metal.
  • Aluminium (cans) recycling – Video.

Tetrapaks:

  • Tetra Paks are made up of layers of paper/cardboard, plastic and aluminium. The paperboard gives the carton its strength, while the plastic and aluminium provides a seal to protect the contents.
  • Recycling involves separating the paper from the plastic and aluminium.  The paper pulp is used to make paper products.  The plastic and aluminium component can be used to make materials for the building industry. 
  • The following video illustrates the process:  Tetrapak Recycling Video.