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Recycling of Aseptic Beverage Cartons: A Review

School of Agriculture & Food Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
Recycling 2021, 6(1), 20;
Received: 16 February 2021 / Revised: 4 March 2021 / Accepted: 9 March 2021 / Published: 11 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Recycling 2021)
Aseptic beverage cartons are multilayer polymer-coated paperboards with a layer of aluminum foil. Due to their multilayer structure it is commonly assumed that they cannot be recycled. This is not the case and this review details the multifarious processes that are used to recycle aseptic beverage cartons. Hydrapulping to recover the paper fibers that constitute 75% of the carton is the most widespread process, followed by the manufacture of construction materials such as boards and tiles which utilize the complete carton. A range of mechanical, chemical and thermal processes are used to separate the PolyAl (polyethylene and aluminum) residual that remains after the paper fibers have been recovered. The simplest process involves agglutination followed by extrusion to obtain pellets that can then be used in industrial and consumer products or combined with other materials such as lignocellulosic wastes. Chemical approaches involve the solubilization of polyethylene and the removal of aluminum. Various thermal processes have also been investigated and a novel microwave-induced pyrolysis process appears the most commercially viable. It is concluded that the focus in future years is likely to be on recycling cartons into construction materials where there is a theoretical yield of 100% compared with 75% for hydrapulping. View Full-Text
Keywords: aseptic cartons; hydrapulping; construction board; microwave-induced pyrolysis aseptic cartons; hydrapulping; construction board; microwave-induced pyrolysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Robertson, G.L. Recycling of Aseptic Beverage Cartons: A Review. Recycling 2021, 6, 20.

AMA Style

Robertson GL. Recycling of Aseptic Beverage Cartons: A Review. Recycling. 2021; 6(1):20.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Robertson, Gordon L. 2021. "Recycling of Aseptic Beverage Cartons: A Review" Recycling 6, no. 1: 20.

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