Are plastic milk cartons recyclable?

Recycling containers

Tetrapack containers, also called “beverage cartons”, have their own recycling container. Separating them at home from the rest of the waste is the first step, but there are other more conscious processes to treat them and we tell you about them in this article.

Once we have washed and drained the container, we must crush it so that it takes up less space and throw it in the appropriate container for this type of waste. There is a special container for tetrapack, which is beige.

It makes up approximately 75% of the container. It is the main material that gives the shape and stability. In addition, it is the material on which is printed what is necessary to identify the brand of the product.

In order to recycle tetrapack it is necessary to separate these three materials and there are several ways. What we can do from home is to place it in the corresponding containers and then it will be the recycling plants who will make this separation process.

Some of the most common processes are mechanical agitation or shredding and melting. In the first case, each material is used to manufacture new products, such as building tiles in the case of aluminum and plastic, or paper bags and egg cartons in the case of cardboard. In processes in which the entire material is shredded and melted, sheets similar to wood chipboard can be produced.

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Milk cartons can be reused

Many of the things we consume come in Tetra Brik packages: milk, tomato sauces, juices, etc. They are practical for storing food without affecting its characteristics, and without using so many preservatives. However, once empty, the existential question arises: is it plastic? is it cardboard? is it aluminum? none of the above?    We tell you what to do with Tetra Brik packages and how they are recycled.

In the recycling plants, machinery works on the packages to separate the paper fibers from the aluminum and plastic. Once this process is finished, the materials are treated separately at high temperatures to be turned into new products, such as paper, corrugated cardboard boxes, plastic pots and even pots and pans, among many others.

Another possible destination, and one of the most common, are the sheets known as TPlak plates. Manufactured through the process of crushing Tetra Brik type containers, which are then poured into molds and subjected to high pressure and temperature, compacting them. These plates, due to their hardness and resistance, are suitable for the construction of objects, furniture and even houses.

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Tetrabrik recycling

Recycling mystery: recycling milk and juice cartonsThe process of recycling our paper and plastic materials is familiar to most of us. But what about its hybrid counterpart, cardboard, when recycling milk and juice cartons? Many mixed plastic and paper cartons are not recycled, contributing to 78 million tons of packaging waste in U.S. landfills as of 2015.Despite the fact that 92 percent of consumers surveyed by the North American Carton Council said they expect their food packaging to be recycled, many municipal recycling programs do not accept hybrid plastic/paper cartons, including juice cartons and ice cream cartons. However, many countries are making good progress in this recycling category. Sixty-one percent of people surveyed in 2017 said they recycle their food and beverage cartons, up from 50% in 2015.Here’s information to help demystify carton recycling.What constitutes a milk/juice carton?

Where to dispose of cans

As we saw a few weeks ago, milk cartons, juices, etc. must be deposited in the yellow container so that they can be recycled, otherwise they can be a real environmental problem.

But before they reach the container, we should keep in mind that we can also reuse milk cartons at home to create both decorative and functional objects. Don’t forget the 3R rule to take care of the environment: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

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An empty milk carton, a pencil, some scissors, a cool fabric, some elastic bands, a clothes iron and a bit of glue is all we need to make our own unique cell phone case.

With some cool decorated paper, an empty tetrabrick, glue, scissors, a glass and some candles we can make these cute little garden lanterns, perfect for setting the mood at an outdoor summer dinner.

It is to build a mesh using strips of milk cartons leaving the silver part in sight. The original by Malaysian architect Ed Chaw is a geodesic sphere, but they can be made in the shape of a cylinder or whatever you like. The result, as you can see in the image on the right, is surprising because of the way the light is projected through the triangles.