Drinks cartons (the ‘D’ in PMD) are collected from your home via the blue PMD bag. They were specifically designed to store dairy products, fruit juices, soups and sauces as well as possible. These are special packaging forms, made up of cardboard, a layer of polyethylene and often a thin layer of aluminium. They also go through a unique recycling process.

Drankkartons

Why recycle drinks cartons?

Drinks cartons are composite packaging forms. They usually consist of four different materials. They are made up largely – about 75% – of cardboard, hence their name. The packaging has a thin layer of plastic (polyethylene) on both the outside and the inside, which protects the contents against damp and air, as well as ensuring drinks, soups and sauces a long shelf-life. For certain products, the inside plastic layer is combined with a thin layer of aluminium. Finally, there are the plastic tops which, just like the tops on plastic bottles, are made of HDPE. By recycling drinks cartons, we can give all these materials a new life, which means that we need fewer new raw materials.

 

Good sorting = better recycling

For the recycling process to go as smoothly as possible, it is important to sort drinks cartons carefully. Make sure they don’t get lost in the residual waste and put all of them in your blue PMD bag. Empty the drinks cartons before doing so. Squash them flat lengthways to save space, and leave the top on.

 

This is how it works

 
  1. Collecting from your home

    You can put drinks cartons in the PMD bag, which is then collected from your home. That is not only convenient, but it also guarantees maximum recycling.
     
  2. Sorting

    The drinks cartons are mostly sorted automatically in the sorting centre by means of an optical separator based on the quantity of fibres they contain.
     
  3. Recycling

    Just like old paper, the drinks cartons are mixed with water to make pulp. This is done in a so-called pulper, a tub with a rotating paddle underneath or a rotating drum. The water soaks off the cardboard fibres, and the plastic and aluminium layers come loose, as well. The cardboard fibres are then further recycled in the same way as paper and cardboard.
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    What happens with your PMD in the sorting centre?
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    How does your PMD get recycled?

    Applications

     

    Drink carton fibres are whiter and stronger than those of other recycled paper and cardboard flows. As a result, they are mainly used to make hygiene paper products such as household rolls, toilet paper and napkins.

    The plastics and aluminium are recycled as much as possible, too. They are also used together as PolyAl for specific applications.

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