Recycling of Aluminium Plastic Laminated Tubes and Pouches

12th December 2016

These reports detail the technological challenges and market opportunities involved in recycling aluminium plastic laminated tubes and pouches.

It could be possible to access one-third of the total laminated packaging disposed by households, in co-mingled kerbside collections, following a publicity campaign by a waste collection authority
By taking laminated packaging as a targeted material into a MRF, there could be a marginal revenue increase of £35/tonne in gate fees to the MRF



There are a range of different laminated materials however in this work and laminated packaging is used to refer to plastic/aluminum laminates used in a range of packaging formats, including pouches, bags and tubes, for the packaging of consumer goods such as food, drinks, pet foods, toothpastes, and cosmetic products. 

The work concluded that there were no insurmountable technical obstacles to separating laminated packaging from residual household waste using one or more separation technologies. The net revenue from recycling laminated packaging currently appears to be lower than the cost of separation which suggests that, at the present time, separating laminated packaging from residual household waste is unlikely to be considered financially viable as a stand-alone activity. However there is a financial driver for separation in the enhancement of the value of the non-ferrous (aluminum) stream by removing contamination.

Recycling laminated packaging >>
Recovering laminated packaging >>



Recycling of laminated packaging

Post-consumer laminated packaging is not a targeted material and is not currently recycled in the UK. A UK company developed a process for recycling laminated packing using microwave pyrolysis, generating aluminum scrap and hydrocarbons in the form of both condensable (liquid) and non-condensable (gaseous) products. WRAP commissioned a project to undertake a trial of the process and assess its viability, including a technical assessment of the properties of laminated packaging and the recycling process. 

Jump to:

Introduction >>
Laminated packaging >>
Phase I - Initial research >>
Phase 2 - Process trials at Enval >>
Phase 2 (continued) – Results of process trials >>
Phase 2 (continued) - Materials sorting trials at a MRF >>
Financial analysis >>
Environmental analysis >>

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Recovery of laminated packaging from black bag waste

WRAP then looked at the possibility of extracting laminated packaging from residual 'black bag' waste and looked in more detail at the practical feasibility of including the process into the waste recycling infrastructure. 

Jump to:

Introduction >>
Management of laminated packaging in MBT facilities >>
Quantities of laminated packaging waste >>
Options for separation of laminated packaging >>
Risks and uncertainties >>
Summary and conclusions >>

Download the full report >>

Where next?

Want to know more about plastics in Dry Materials? Take a look at our reports, guides, tools and case studies for further information:

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