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Council explains why you no longer can recycle cartons at home

PUBLISHED: 12:18 27 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:13 27 September 2019

Households have been urged to take cartons to recyling centres. Picture: Archant

Households have been urged to take cartons to recyling centres. Picture: Archant

Archant

East Suffolk Council have banned cartons being disposed in blue-lidded recyling bins as it is no longer "cost effective" to sort by hand.

Cartons are no longer allowed to be placed in the blue bin. Pictur: Jamie Niblock.Cartons are no longer allowed to be placed in the blue bin. Pictur: Jamie Niblock.

The cartons, which are known as tetra pak, contain both cardboard and plastic and are mostly used for juice and milk packaging.

As part of a Suffolk-wide change in May, East Suffolk Council announced the tetra pak packaging can no longer be placed into recycling following new regulations from the Suffolk Waste Partnership.

According to Suffolk Recycling, there is no mechanical way to separate the packaging from other recycled materials, and it is "no longer cost effective to selectively sort by hand".

Councillor James Mallinder, East Suffolk's cabinet member for the environment said the cartons are "actually one of the hardest items to recycle".

Caroline Topping (left) and Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw at Terracyle. Picture: Contributed by Caroline ToppingCaroline Topping (left) and Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw at Terracyle. Picture: Contributed by Caroline Topping

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Mr Mallinder said: "Although the cartons display a recyclable symbol, the producers of these items are choosing to use materials which are difficult to recycle and the government is working with these producers to make changes.

Earlier this year, East Suffolk Council declared a climate emergency and committed itself to fight climate change.

Mr Mallinder said: "We have recently declared a climate emergency and know that recycling, as well as reducing the amount we buy and reusing items where possible, reduces carbon emissions, saves energy and helps protect our planet. We appreciate people's frustrations at not being able to recycle more through their household bins. However, there are many items which can be recycled at the recycling centre or through local terracycle schemes and we would urge residents to investigate these.

"If our residents feel unable to do this, then we would encourage them to consider buying products in alternative packaging."

Households have been urged take their cartons to the 11 recycling centres across Suffolk, which are based in towns such as Lowestoft, Leiston and Foxhall,

Green's Councillor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw said recycling tetra pak is "almost impossible to do" and a wider discussion needs to be had with the community about what can and can't be recycled. Mrs Bramley-Crawshaw also encouraged towns to create terracycle recycling schemes.

She said: "If anyone or any town wants to replicate what we are doing in Beccles, get in contact with Caroline Topping or myself."

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