Beverage carton industry publishes design for recycling guidelines


Guidelines are a first deliverable connected to the industry’s 2030 Roadmap and Beyond


Through the industry’s 2030 Roadmap1, ACE’s (The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment) members adopted an ambitious vision for 2030 and beyond: to deliver the most sustainable packaging for resilient food supply systems, which is renewable, climate positive and circular.

As part of the Roadmap, our industry committed to develop and annually review the Design for Recycling (DfR) Guidelines that will provide producers of beverage cartons with technical guidance to identify the materials needed in the packaging composition that are compatible with existing recycling processes and how the recyclability of beverage cartons can be optimized.

The guidelines published today by the industry are based on expert judgement and consultation with targeted stakeholders including recyclers, waste management operators, and technology providers. They are complementary to the published 4evergreen DfR Guidelines for standard recycling processes and will feed into the upcoming 4evergreen Guidelines for enhanced processes (specialized recycling plants).

“Beverage cartons are recycled throughout the EU,” said Annick Carpentier, Director General of ACE. “By providing guidelines on the material composition of beverage cartons and how they should be designed for recycling, the industry continues to show its commitment to increasing the recyclability of beverage cartons. The Design for Recycling Guidelines are a sound basis to define the recyclability of packaging.”

Sorting and recycling technologies are developing and bringing innovation to the market while in parallel legal requirements evolve. Our industry is committed to reflect these developments by annually reviewing the Guidelines.

Please visit ACE’s website to view the industry’s latest guidelines.


ACE – The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment – provides a
European platform for beverage carton manufacturers and their paperboard suppliers to benchmark and profile beverage cartons as a safe, circular, and sustainable packaging solution with low carbon benefits.

ACE members include beverage carton producers Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc, and Elopak. They develop, manufacture, and market safe, circular, and sustainable systems for the packaging and distribution of food and beverages and produce packaging material at 20 plants in Europe. Around 98% of the paperboard used by ACE members to produce beverage cartons in Europe is produced by Stora Enso in Skoghall (Sweden) and Imatra (Finland), and Billerud in Gävle and Frövi (Sweden), who are also members of ACE.


1 Published March 2021:

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Media and further inquiries: ANDREW GELSTON; MOB +32 (0)4 77 83 09 84; EMAIL

Download the press release here.

Click here to read the Design for Recycling Guidelines.