Cartons, like the ones that can hold milk, juice, and soup are made into tissue, paper towels, and Kraft fiber. Cartons are mainly made from paper in the form of paperboard, as well as thin layers of polyethylene (plastic). Cartons that are safe to be stored on shelves, instead of the refrigerator, also have a thin layer of aluminum.
After cartons are collected curbside, they are brought to our Materials Recovery Facility to be sorted and baled. The cartons bales are shipped to paper mills where cartons are mixed with water in a gigantic blender to extract all of the fiber from the plastic and aluminum.
The paper fiber is then ready to be made into new products. Some mills use the extracted aluminum and plastic for generating energy; others sell it to plastic manufacturers to be used for lumber, board-like materials.
Purchasers can change, but some examples of companies we ship cartons to include American Fiber Services.
Below is a short demonstration on carton recycling. You can also learn more on the Carton Council website.