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New recycling service launches for corks and cartons

Published:  11 November, 2019

Recycling company First Mile has launched a new scheme to help both consumers and businesses recycle wine corks and long-life food and drink cartons.

The courier-based RecycleBox scheme is designed to collect hard-to-recycle items or items that that are not traditionally recycled through household or commercial waste services.

Corks fall into that category because, despite being 100% natural and biodegradable, their natural impermeability makes them hard to break down in landfill or home composting.

Those collected through the RecycleBox will either be re-used as they are or incorporated into other cork-based products, such as floor tiles.

Long-life food and drink cartons are constructed from layers of paper, plastic and aluminium, but their complex build means that few recycling processors are able to separate the different elements effectively. Many simply go to general waste resulting in either landfill or incineration, First Mile says.

Using RecycleBox, consumers and businesses will have their used cartons processed by the UK’s only dedicated beverage carton recycling facility.

Bruce Bratley, founder and chief executive of First Mile, said: “We’re really excited by the new addition of corks and cartons to our suite of RecycleBox material streams.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to raise a guilt-free toast to our planet and make new commitments to be more sustainable in 2020, as RecycleBox continues to make it easier for everyone to maximise their recycling efforts.”

First Mile is also running trials of a kerbside carton-recycling service for deli and coffee shop businesses.