Updated: Jun 26
We see a lot of recyclable materials with the Ameru.ai smart bins, but recycling is not always an option for all of the items we see due to the complexities of the markets. Tetra Pak is one such example. Tetra Paks are technically recyclable, but the process demands specialized facilities. However, in Bulgaria, there are currently no facilities equipped to recycle Tetra Pak locally or nearby.
Cap On or Cap Off?
When recycling Tetra Paks, it's generally recommended to leave the plastic cap on. This is because modern recycling facilities have equipment that can separate the cap from the carton during the recycling process. However, it's essential to check with your local waste management authority or recycling program, as some areas might have different instructions based on the capabilities of their local facilities. As you can see, we see this minor "error" in our collection of images all of the time. This is usually due to the bottle cap programs that are running in various offices and co-working spaces.
Are There Alternatives?
There are not a lot of options available at the moment. The most reasonable alternatives are:
Biodegradable PLA Bottles: PLA (Polylactic Acid) bottles are made from fermented plant starch, usually corn or sugarcane. Completely biodegradable and compostable, PLA bottles are an eco-friendly alternative to Tetra Paks, particularly suitable for cold beverages.
Glass Bottles: Glass, one of the most recyclable materials globally, is an excellent alternative for packaging. Reusable, non-toxic, and lending a premium feel to the product, glass bottles can replace Tetra Paks for a variety of beverages.
However, even these alternatives are not perfect and pose different challenges. This complexity and few alternatives open doors to exciting opportunities. The liquid packaging industry is perched on the brink of an innovation revolution.
To begin with, consider the current state of the liquid packaging cartons market. Valued at an impressive USD 11.95 billion in 2023, it’s projected to surge to USD 15.18 billion by 2028. Envision a future where material science and bioengineering advancements could lead to universally recyclable packaging that is robust, preserves product quality, and is cost-effective.
At Ameru.ai, we're passionate about such challenges. Using our AI expertise, we are able to measure the impact and the opportunity for such solutions. Our unique value proposition lies in AI's ability to identify and optimize complex patterns in extensive datasets, leading to identifying opportunities for substantial impact.
In collaboration with our customers, we're exploring how to maintain a delicate equilibrium in the liquid packaging market. But, we can't do it by ourselves! If you know someone who might be able to find a solution to this problem, then share this post and encourage them to make an impact!