Tetra Pak recyclingRecyclers around the globe are working to reduce household waste by focusing on recycling Tetra Pak cartons, which are common household items these days. Tetra Pak is a food processing and packaging company known for its production of carton-like pouches that hold many food and drink items. These cartons can contain dairy, juice, spirits, beans, vegetables and much more, and they are found throughout grocery stores today. While Tetra Paks are easy to open and are lauded for keeping food and drink items fresh for an extended period of time, many environmentalists are concerned about their recyclability and whether they are doing more harm than good for our ever-increasing landfill concerns. According to Tetra Pak’s website, each Tetra Pak container is made of three materials: paperboard, aluminum and polyethylene — a type of plastic used to seal in liquid and keep outside moisture from getting inside the package. The majority of a Tetra Pak container’s composition is paperboard, which is a renewable material, but it is not as easily recyclable when fused to aluminum and plastic. Several years ago, it was very difficult to recycle these cartons in the U.S. due to their multilayer construction, but the Carton Council and top carton manufacturing companies have worked to make the process easier. Many consumers can now recycle Tetra Pak containers at the curb (depending on location) and others can collect them and take them to convenient drop-off recycling locations. Recycling plants capable of recycling Tetra Pak containers do this by soaking the containers in water to separate the plastic and aluminum from the paperboard. Once separated, each of the materials can be restructured to create new items, such as printing paper, paper bags, low-cost housing materials, oil, gas and more. The past seven years has seen a 73% increase in the amount of Tetra Pak containers recycled. As recycling companies continue to focus on ways to recycle this type of household waste, that percentage only figures to increase in the years to come.