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MISSION

Is Tetra Pak Recyclable? Getting honest about juice, SIG, Tetra Pak and recycling

pile of recycled cardboard

We’ve made it our mission to demystify the juice industry. So we’re getting honest about a question we get asked a million times: can you recycle your juice cartons?

The short answer is yes. But the long answer is a bit more complicated. Let’s dive in…

What even are SIG and Tetra Pak, anyway?

Despite what Big Juice and the myth of ‘fresh’ juice would have you believe, chilled is a serving suggestion, not a storage necessity. And it’s all thanks to the wonders of airtight packaging.

Carton manufacturers like Tetra Pak and our friends SIG, who we use for our cartons, are the unsung heroes of the juice world. They’re all top players in the packaging industry, making sure your drinks stay fresh without refrigeration or preservatives thanks to their aseptic container design, made mostly from layers of paperboard.

So, is there a difference between SIG and Tetra Pak? In short, not much – it’s mostly just the shape. SIG cartons are cuboids with a screw cap, as you’ll recognise from the Eager cartons you know and love. Whereas Tetra Pak cartons are tetrahedron-shaped with a resealable top cap. From a recycling perspective, they’re all the same.

There. Never thought you’d know so much about packaging, did you? Don’t get us started…

Getting real about recycling

So, that’s what SIG and Tetra Pak are. And as we said before, yes, you can recycle them. Around 75% of the paper fibres in each carton are still perfectly reusable, so yours will get reincarnated as paper or board products, including… more cartons! But how do you recycle them, where, and why is all this so important? Read on to find out.

Are Eager cartons recyclable?

Yep. Even the caps, despite what you might have heard. According to SIG, you should leave caps on, and any straws used can be pushed inside the carton to be recycled all together. Just make sure to give the carton a rinse beforehand.

Can I recycle them at home?

Probably, yes, but it’s best to check. Your home recycling gets collected on your local authority’s collection dates (as long as you remember to put the bins out, that is). But council recycling can be a bit of a lottery with what they accept and where you need to take it. You can enter your postcode on the government’s website here for quick and easy advice on recycling in your area, while this is an item-by-item guide that makes it impossible to get recycling wrong.

Can I take them to a recycling centre?

Again, yep, probably. Recycling centres tend to take everything your bin collections take, and more. But better safe than sorry, so check with your local authority. And once you’re there, look out for signage to make sure your recycling is going to the right place.

Is there another way to recycle them?

Yes, actually. Thanks to innovations like TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Box, you can take matters into your own hands and recycle almost anything – even the things your council won’t accept.

What do recycling symbols actually mean?

Good question. While recycling juice cartons is pretty straightforward, not all recycling symbols on food packaging are created equal. Just because something has a three-arrows sign, doesn’t mean it’s actually recyclable in practice – most waste technically is, but not everywhere has the infrastructure for it. To be certain, pay attention to the colour of the symbol (green is always good; if it’s black, then it depends) and the number in the middle of it (the lower the better).

There’s still more work to do

If we look at the state of recycling right now, we’ve come far: in 2007, only 10% of local authorities in the UK accepted cartons (like your Eager carton) as part of kerbside recycling pick-ups. Now it’s 97%. Nice.

But if we really want less waste in the future, there’s still more work to do around recycling. If people are confused about the rules for different areas, then they’ll recycle less overall – which is exactly why we’re talking about it.

We’re honest about our juice: about its impact on your health, and on the environment. So let’s start getting honest about recycling, so we can all enjoy our juice the right way.

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