The new process in Spain involves the removal of the polylaminate from paper through a scrubbing process. The residual is then dried and heated to 400 degrees C in an oxygen free chamber, causing the plastic to evaporate from the aluminum. The evaporated gas can be used to generate electricity and steam and the aluminum can be reused.
The Quebec operation recovers the plastic. The $3.5 million line accepts all gable top and aseptic cartons, as well as plastic shopping bags and cellophane films from sorting centers.
A thermokinetic process uses high-speed knives to homogenize disparate waste materials into plastic granules that can later be used for making a wide variety of plastic products. The process is reportedly waste-free, converting all elements, including straws, caps and other plastic attachments, into plastic granules.
Beverage carton recycling rates have historically been lower than for other containers. Hopefully better recycling processes and publicity around it will help boost recovery. Click on "Comments" below to let me know what you think.