We’re not JUST square,
we’re circular


Beverage cartons are a safe, circular and sustainable packaging solution with low carbon benefits, which are currently recycled at scale (51%* in 2019) throughout the EU.

Although the recycling rate for beverage cartons have continued to increase throughout the years, more can be done.  Effective collection and sorting, which is the precondition to recycling, is needed to ensure beverage cartons are properly recycled.

ACE – The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment – the beverage carton industry’s European platform is calling for an EU wide collection target to ensure:

  • Member States meet their legal obligation to collect all packaging separately
  • Transparency around collected/recycled materials
  • Accurate reporting of collection and/or recycling rates based on an harmonised approach on targets across the EU

In their Roadmap to 2030 and Beyond, the industry laid out their commitment to significantly increasing the collection and recycling of beverage cartons to reach 90% and 70%, respectively.

We invite you to learn more about the collection and recycling of beverage cartons and to reach out to ACE for further questions.

See what Fost Plus – a leading Belgian PRO has to say about collection:

This video solely offers a third-party view on the importance of collection and is not an overall endorsement for ACE’s positions.

* on average, based on the then calculation method.


A recent study undertaken by Roland Berger* highlights that an EU wide collection target for beverage cartons would considerably contribute to the realization of the already set recycling target of 85% for packaging and board at EU level. 

Explore the results below and learn more about how beverage cartons are critical for the EU food and beverage market as a sustainable packaging solution with the lowest carbon footprint.

* The study was commissioned by ACE and written by Roland Berger.

Evolution of collection rates

Collection rates of beverage cartons have increased steadily in the previous 15-20 years, driven by the increase of rates in countries with performant Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) collection schemes, but also enforcing national beverage carton specific targets.

Recycling facilities in the EU

The beverage carton industry has so far invested about EUR 200 min recycling capacities and plans to further invest about EUR 120-150m until 2027.


27 April 2022 | Energy & Environment

A simple step to saving 1m tons of CO2 by 2030

Beverage cartons play an important role in a sustainable and low-carbon circular economy in Europe. It comes as no surprise then that ACE, the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment, is strongly committed to a low carbon circular economy.
Read more
29 March 2022 | Interview

Expert: EU needs a 90% collection target for beverage cartons to boost recycling

The European Commission should introduce a 90% collection target for all beverage cartons by 2030 to ensure they are properly collected and sorted and boost recycling in the sector, says Dragos Popa.
Read more