recycling process of cardboard and beverages by Alier.

What would happen if we stopped recycling?

AUTOR/Alier — 5 February 2024 news

What would happen if we stopped recycling? It is a question that many of us ponder at times. We invest time and resources in an activity without being entirely sure if it is yielding the expected results.

But the data is clear: the answer is yes. If we did not recycle, for starters, it would be impossible to absorb, through other means, the amount of waste generated today. Enormous landfills would jeopardize our relationship with society and the planet. We would produce 16 billion kilograms of waste daily, exacerbating the scarcity of space, resource depletion, increased pollution, and loss of ecosystems, as stated by the UNHCR.

It may indeed seem like throwing a container into one bin or another is not too significant, but every small action matters, both on an individual level and for large companies.

In this regard, at Alier, we do everything possible to contribute to a cleaner planet. Therefore, in 2019, we reaffirmed ourselves as recyclers of beverage carton packaging, providing our solution to a leading global packaging company for its challenging-to-process products, due to the diversity of materials and their eco-design. Thanks to our project, we repurposed 850,000 kg of waste from their packaging products in just one year.


Cardboard packaging for food and beverages is a challenging product to process due to its lamination, and not 100% of the fiber is utilized. However, on the other hand, if at least 55% of this material is not recycled by 2030, it cannot be marketed.

With our technology, it is possible to carry out a comprehensive recycling process. How? Through various actions such as transforming the non-fibrous fraction into a valuable product like PolyAl (Polyaluminum). This is a secondary raw material that can be revalued in other industries, thus promoting the circular economy. 

This project became possible thanks to a €14,000,000 investment aimed at creating value where there was once only waste. Furthermore, this enabled us to position ourselves as the sole company capable of recycling up to 75,168,000 kg of raw material and all associated waste. However, this achievement did not happen overnight. Over the course of five years, we continued to work on enhancing our capacity for the absorption and processing of cardboard packaging for food and beverages. Additionally, we have increased our initial investment simultaneously.

news 5 February 2024
5 February 2024

We are aware that sourcing raw materials and recycling the maximum volume of beverage carton cardboard is a significant challenge for companies. Therefore, we streamline the process to the fullest extent, for instance, by managing national and European purchases with all the associated documentation peculiarities, permits, and plant atomization, where regulations and agreements vary in each country.

We prioritize a strategy that benefits people and our planet, collaborating with companies committed to creating added value through the reuse of challenging waste. As a society, we must work together to ensure that no waste remains unrecycled.

As Adrià Buenaño, Alier's Supply Chain Manager, states, 'We accept the challenge and are determined to transform a complex process into something unique that will enable us to scale up the recycling of all beverage cartons in the European Union. We aspire to improve every day, approaching it with enthusiasm, a positive attitude, and professionalism, showcasing our commitment as we turn our words into action.'