Tetra Pak Leads Collaboration to Kickstart Carton Packaging Recycling in Zimbabwe

By Staff Reporter

In a pioneering move aimed at initiating the Liquid Board Packaging recycling landscape in Zimbabwe, Tetra Pak, a world-leading food processing and packaging solutions company, has joined forces with major stakeholders in the dairy industry to sign the “Zimbabwe Pact for Carton Packages.”

The Pact for Carton Packages Waste aims to unite businesses from across the entire value chain, including recyclers, collectors, producers, government, and NGOs, to tackle the end-to-end process of recycling used beverage cartons. Its primary goal is to create value for the local economy by utilizing this recyclable commodity.

While Liquid Board packages are already recyclable where adequate collection, sorting, and recycling infrastructures are in place, this pact aims to support the establishment of such setups, contributing to a circular economy.

Masale Manoko, Sustainability Manager at Tetra Pak Southern Africa, states, “The pact represents a commitment from all involved parties to address the challenges posed by carton packaging waste and pave the way for a more environmentally conscious future.”

Key objectives outlined in the pact include compliance with environmental regulations, development of a robust recycling infrastructure, and support for extended producer responsibility (EPR) initiatives.

The parties involved commit to working collaboratively across the value chain to enable industry-wide changes in collection and recycling systems. They also aim to expand the Pact network to increase collective efforts and harness the collective skills and expertise of stakeholders to advance knowledge and catalyze innovation.

In the initial phase of implementation, the focus will be on developing collection infrastructure and establishing a value chain within Zimbabwe. Used carton packaging collected will be exported to South African paper mills, leveraging existing recycling capacity in the region.

Edwin Chilundo, Managing Director at Prodairy, states, “As a member of the PACT, Prodairy takes pride in its sustainability credentials. Our partnership with Tetra Pak allows us to drive innovation in Zimbabwe and ensure responsible disposal of used carton waste.”

Legal recognition of carton packaging as a recyclable commodity under the Environment Management Act and adherence to internationally recognized standards for waste paper set a solid foundation for efficient recycling practices across the country, according to Tendayi Marecha from Dairy Processors Association.

Mercy Ndoro from Dairy board adds, “Stakeholders have pledged to collaborate in the creation of a used beverage carton value chain in Zimbabwe’s waste management sector by developing a sustainable circular economy.”

Tatenda Napata from Kefelos emphasizes, “By fostering collaboration, innovation, and investment in recycling infrastructure, the signatories envision a future where carton packages are seamlessly integrated into a thriving circular economy, benefitting both the environment and the local economy alike.”

According to the World Bank, global waste is predicted to increase by 70% by 2050, making immediate and significant action imperative.

Tetra Pak, a key signatory to the pact, has already demonstrated its commitment to advancing carton recycling efforts with substantial investments globally.

This includes up to €100 million per year for designing carton packages with increased fiber content and recycled materials, as well as approximately €40 million annually towards collection and recycling infrastructure, underscoring its dedication to driving sustainable solutions.

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