By Lori Brown on Apr 10, 2009

Milk and Juice Carton Recycling Made Easy


Tropicana and Waste Management recently announced they are joining forces to launch a national initiative to increase the rate of juice and milk carton recycling. The initiative kicks off the long-term goal to increase beverage carton recycling nationwide, a program being promoted through the Carton Council.

Milk and juice cartons are made largely from paper sources and fall under the material category of paperboard. Though not accepted by all municipal curbside programs, more than 85 percent of the U.S. population has access to paperboard recycling.

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Though 85 percent of the U.S. population has access to paperboard recycling, not all paperboard recyclers will accept milk and juice cartons. Photo: G-can.net

Waste Management will be accepting juice and milk cartons at all its recycling processing facilities across the country in order to increase their recycling rate. Waste Management separates the cartons from the other recyclables and sends them to a secondary mill for recycling.

Recycled through a process called hydropulping, which recovers a material’s paper fibers, the cartons are recycled into paper towels, tissue and other paper products. A typical Tropicana carton is made of 85 percent paper and 15 percent polymer, making the product largely recyclable.

“We are proud to be working with Waste Management to promote the expansion of carton recycling across the country and finding new ways to recycle our products into environmentally beneficial products,” says Andre Hartshorn, senior marketing manager for Tropicana Products, Inc.

This national carton recycling program builds off a successful pilot program in Tampa, Fla., where Tropicana and Waste Management, along with the Carton Council and Dean Foods, successfully expanded carton recycling availability and educated consumers about carton recycling.

To search for milk and juice carton recycling locations in your area, use the Earth911.com search.


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      • Julie Byington

        I am wondering how we can recycle the TV dinner boxes that are used at my office. I don’t think they fall into the paperboard catergory because of the wax coating on them. The article about Waste Management now recycling orange juice and milk cartons make me hopeful that this will include the TV dinner packages. Does anyone know if they are recyclable?

      • waiting waiting

        I wish they would hurry up in my city to get this program going. They do this in a city several hours away but only for curbside residents, apparently, although I’m looking for a way to get access to it. I’ve got a pile of cartons building up, just waiting …

      • scubachipmunk

        Can you cite the source of: “Though not accepted by all municipal curbside programs, more than 85 percent of the U.S. population has access to paperboard recycling.” Thanks!

      • Kuppan

        We are from Malaysia. We would like to purchase used beverage cartons in large quantity (tetra pak). Can we have the list of suppliers who would like to sell increase their revenue? We can be reached at > man.recycle@yahoo.com or vishallachi@gmail.com

      • CHAR

        I JUST HAVE ONE QUESTION FOR THE MILK CARTON RECYCLING FOLKS – WHAT ABOUT THE PLASTIC SPOUT. IT’S A REAL PAIN TO GET OUT OF THE CARTON – IS THERE A TOOL TO DO THIS OR IS IT JUST not NECESSARY?

        THANKS

      • rosa

        Great article will be using it for earth day for the elementary school kids. Just wish I could find more info on how not to spend 60.00 on a box from a company that claims they will recycle your milk cartons if you buy this box. I’m trying to promote recycling this product not lose funding for our health and wellness committee.