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Tetra Pak And Uniboard Join Forces To Establish The First-Ever Joint Project To Recycle Used Beverage Cartons In Egypt

Tetra Pak, a world’s leading food processing and packaging solutions company, signed an agreement today with Uniboard, the leading Paperboard producer in Egypt, to co-operate with the objective to recycle used beverage cartons (UBC) in Egypt, with a total joint project value of over €2.5 million.

Tetra Pak, through its know-how and engagement with its global recycling solutions suppliers, is bringing the latest technology for UBC recycling.

Uniboard is the largest paper board manufacturer in Africa located in Sadat City, producing over 150 thousand tons of paper board annually which is used in a variety of high-quality packaging products.

This is an industry-first joint initiative with a paper mill in Egypt.The new recycling plant has a projected capacity to recycle 8,000 tons of UBC per year and is planned to be operational in 2023. The ambition is to fulfil its capacity in the next 5 years.

Wael Khoury, Managing Director of Tetra Pak Egypt Area, said: “Tetra Pak recycling goal is an integral part of our strategy to drive environmental excellence”. He added, “While we do not typically own or operate collection infrastructure or recycling plants, we make specific investments and contributions, provide technical expertise and share the experience gained globally with recycling partners around the world.”

“We also cooperate with all key stakeholders, public institutions, waste management and collection companies, NGO’s, retailers and our customers to make recycling work.” Noted Khoury.

From his side, Sherif El Moallem, CEO of Uniboard said: “this partnership is the first of its kind in North Africa and it reinforces Uniboard’s position as a leader in the international paper board market. Uniboard transforms recycled wastepaper into paperboard, and we are happy to partner with Tetra Pak to add recycling of used beverage cartons to our portfolio.” He added: “This joint project is further evidence of our commitment to environmental protection and is an important milestone in our ambitious plans towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which rank high among our priorities.”

As part of its continuous efforts to increase collection and recycling of UBC, Tetra Pak aims to collaborate with other industry players and relevant stakeholders in the public and private sectors. The objective is to develop industry coalitions towards a combined effort with local authorities to support the development and implementation of waste management policies and practices.

This agreement between the two groups demonstrates both companies’ commitment to driving environmental excellence and to contribute to a sustainable future.

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Minister of Environment Dr. Yasmine Fouad inspects a number of environmental projects at the United Company for Paper and Cardboard (Uniboard) in Sadat City

As part of the Ministry of Environment's celebrations for World Environment Day, Dr. Yasmine Fouad began her visit to Alexandria by inspecting environmental projects at the United Company for Paper and Cardboard (Uniboard) in Sadat City. The visit aimed to support environmental compatibility to contribute to increasing exports and reducing imports. The factory provides about 70% of the local consumption of duplex cardboard, valued at around 2.5 billion EGP annually, out of the total import volume of paper and cardboard in the country. The factory exports about 30% of its production.

During the visit, Dr. Yasmine Fouad inspected the development project of the industrial wastewater treatment and recycling station, which aims to increase the efficiency of the station and achieve greater opportunities for recycling industrial wastewater for reuse, targeting a rate of about 80% (instead of 70% currently), by adding new parts for ventilation and cooling, as well as modifying and developing the sedimentation basin to accommodate more treated water to reduce the hydraulic and organic burden on the remaining stages of the station.

The factory uses the solid waste resulting from the treatment in producing various types of cardboard, in coordination with the permanent committee for industrial wastewater at the Ministry of Environment, to reduce the environmental burden on the public network. Minister Fouad also inspected several ongoing projects, such as the expansion project of the waste paper recycling station (Dashat), which aims to implement future spatial expansion plans required to increase the capacity for collecting and recycling waste paper (Dashat of paper and cardboard as a primary raw material) by constructing new yards for collecting, sorting, and compressing Dashat, instead of relying solely on Dashat suppliers, in addition to equipping and finishing the final product.

During the tour, the Minister discussed the implementation steps of the project to recycle lined beverage cartons, being implemented in cooperation with Tetra Pak International with investments of around 2.5 million euros, to import the latest technology for recycling carton packaging through the equipment that will be installed during the second half of 2023, with a recycling capacity of more than 8000 tons annually over five years. This is the first project of its kind in Egypt and North Africa, as part of the two companies' sustainability and environmental protection strategy.

Minister Fouad pointed out that the Ministry of Environment is responsible for regulating and planning the waste sector and determining roles and responsibilities. After the implementation of the Waste Management Law, the ministry seeks to encourage the circular economy and instill the idea of the generator's responsibility for managing waste, and to find opportunities for networking between the private sector and the waste generator to ensure proper management, in light of the extended producer responsibility concept. The Minister also discussed mechanisms to involve citizens in managing packaging waste by returning it to the factory for recycling, to contribute to providing part of the production inputs for the factory, achieving environmental returns by implementing the concept of extended producer responsibility, reducing the amount of waste reaching the final landfill, and raising citizens' awareness of their role in waste management, within the framework of the presidential initiative "Green Up and Beautiful Egypt."

Dr. Yasmine Fouad also discussed the plan for the joint generation project of electricity (Cogeneration) being implemented by the company. The company has a project to generate electricity and steam using natural gas, with total investments of around $12 million, by establishing a self-contained Cogeneration station inside the factory. The company is currently obtaining approval from the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Energy. The Minister listened to the challenges facing investors in supporting the expansion of their industry to cover 100% of the local market. It is worth noting that the United Company for Paper and Cardboard (Uniboard), located on an area of approximately 128,000 square meters in Sadat City, recycles paper and cardboard waste and converts it into a new product used in manufacturing most packaging boxes in the local and global markets.

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