At WEPA Nederland (formerly Van Houtum), recycling has become second nature. These days, Dutch consumers can not only separate green biological waste, paper, plastic and glass, but also beverage cartons. Since January 2017, the type of carton from which beverage packaging is made is being processed in an environmentally-friendly manner by WEPA Nederland.
Everything that WEPA Nederland produces has had a previous life. Whether it was toilet paper, or a toilet roll dispenser. Their mission is to handle it in a circular way, says Managing Director Bas Gehlen. The factory began three years ago with environmentally-friendly experiments for processing used beverage cartons. In surrounding countries this was already being done, but with chemical procedures. WEPA Nederland wanted to do it differently.
15.000 tons of drink cartons
After intensive research and development, since 2016 WEPA Nederland’s used beverage carton recycling process has been up and running. The carton lands up in a huge basin with hot water, where it is washed so that high quality fibers are retracted from the packaging. After the addition of extra pulp paper, a new material is produced from which toilet paper and similar products can be made. The residual plastic is cleaned for further recycling. WEPA Nederland aims to process over 15,000 tons of used beverage cartons in 2018.
The Best Practices
Holland Circular Hotspot (HCH) wants to support international cooperation on the circular economy, with the aim of creating business opportunities and promoting the exchange of knowledge and innovation. In the magazine Circular Is Going Global - Join Holland's Flow you can read which circular best practices the Netherlands has to offer.