SIG today announces a BRL 10 million investment in innovative recycling technology that will
enable polymers and aluminium from used aseptic carton packs to be recovered and sold
separately for the first time on an industrial scale in Brazil. By expanding the range of applications
for recycled materials from used aseptic cartons, SIG expects to increase their value by more
“We are excited to bring to Brazil a new technology that will enable
separation of aluminium and polyethylene layers from carton packs, thereby
expanding the market for these materials and generating more value from
the separated waste,” says Ricardo Rodriguez, President and General
Manager for SIG Americas. “This project is the latest in a series of innovative
collaborations led by SIG to boost collection and recycling rates for used
aseptic cartons and grow the recycling chain in a sustainable way.”
Innovative recycling technology
The renewable paper board that makes up around 75% of aseptic carton packs on average can
be separated for recycling in paper mills through Brazil’s existing recycling infrastructure. The
polyethylene and aluminium mix (polyaluminium or PolyAl) left over from this process can be
recycled into a robust material for purposes such as roofing, pallets and furniture.
SIG’s recycling plant will use innovative technology that makes it possible to separate the
polyethylene from the aluminium in PolyAl to create a wider market and demand for these
recycled materials. Developed over five years with project partner ECS Consulting, the new
technology has already undergone a pilot project that proved the effectiveness of the chemical
The new recycling plant is currently in construction in the state of Paraná. It is expected to begin
operating in 2024 with an initial production capacity of 200 tonnes per month. Together with
industry partners, SIG has also invested in a plant in Germany to separate polymers and
aluminium from PolyAl that went into production in 2021.
Ethical collection programmes
Investing in new technology to create a wider market for recycled materials is an important step in
increasing recycling rates for used aseptic cartons. SIG has already led the way with innovative
programmes to support two other important steps: collection of used packaging from consumers
and separation of that packaging to go into the right recycling streams.
SIG’s so+ma vantagens programme, run in partnership with NGO so+ma since 2018, enables
people in underprivileged communities to collect loyalty points for bringing in waste for recycling.
The points can then be exchanged for rewards, such as essential food products and skills
training. SIG is now expanding this model to promote recycling and bring additional societal
benefits to further municipalities in Brazil and beyond.
SIG also promotes public policies for selective waste collection in Brazil, and supports effective
infrastructure and decent working conditions for waste collectors’ cooperatives as a seed investor
in the Recicleiros Cidades programme. Set up with NGO Recicleiros in 2018, the programme is
now operational in 13 municipalities and aims to reach 60 by 2027.
The focus on recycling in Brazil is part of SIG’s global Way Beyond Good commitment to
enhance the positive environmental and social impact of its packs throughout their lifecycle.
“At SIG, we are committed to sourcing the materials that go into our packs sustainably. We are already the first aseptic carton producer to source 100% FSC TM -certified board and use ASI-certified aluminium,” says Isabela De Marchi, Sustainability Manager for SIG South America. “We are also
determined to foster an ethical recycling chain that promotes collection and recycling of our packs after use in a way that supports communities, workers and the environment. The new recycling plant in Paraná takes us a step further on this journey by maximising the retained economic and environmental value of the materials recovered from aseptic cartons.”