Tetra-Pak Cartons

Recycling Cart

There are two general types of cartons, both of which are accepted for recycling – please make sure they are empy and rinsed before recycling.

gable top – the refrigerated cartons used for milk and juice

aseptic (Tetra-Pak) – the foil-lined, shelf-stable cartons used for broth, soy milk, coconut water, etc.

Did you know?  We now have robots that help sort cartons, plastic bottles and other recyclables – check out this cool robot installation video!

Don’t Flatten Cartons

The sorting machinery at processing facilities is programmed to recognize a carton’s shape. Keep a carton three-dimensional to increase its chances of being sorted properly.

How to Recognize Tetra Pak Cartons

A plastic Tetra Pak carton is smooth and glossy with a shiny metallic lining on its inside. These cartons are shelf stable until opened and usually rectangular with sides that are folded down. For some cartons, the Tetra Pak logo can be found on the bottom side of the item.

Refrigerated Cartons Are Different

Refrigerated cartons (such as milk and juice) contain more paper than a Tetra Pak carton and don’t keep their contents fresh unless refrigerated. They also tend to have pointed tops. Learn how to dispose of refrigerated cartons.

Did You Know?

What Do Cartons Become?

In places that are able to process them for recycling, the paper from cartons are recycled into paper products such as paper towels, tissues and office papers. The plastic and aluminum can be burned for energy or turned into ceiling tiles and synthetic lumber board materials.

The Difference Between Cartons

There are two types of liquid cartons: aseptic and gable-top. Gable-top cartons feature peaked roofs and need to stay refrigerated. They are mostly composed of paper with a thin plastic lining. Aseptic cartons usually have a rectangular top and don’t require refrigeration until they have been opened. They contain an inner aluminum lining as well as more plastic than traditional gable-top cartons. Learn more.