sig combibloc group logo


Turning used packs into new resources

Recycling keeps materials in circulation for longer, which helps reduce waste and conserve precious natural resources. It is an essential part of a circular economy.


All our cartons are designed to be recyclable where infrastructure allows and we have created, recycle-ready solutions for our spouted pouch and bag-in-box packaging that enable the mechanical recycling process.


We’re committed to turning used packs into new resources through recycling and partnering with industry and stakeholders to recycle at scale in all our priority markets.

Our recycling goals

Achieve a 90% collection and 70% recycling rate for our beverage cartons in Europe by 2030.

Offer a recycle-ready solution across all market segments served by our bag-in-box and spouted pouch product by 2025.

Keep materials in circulation by offering renewable and/or recycled polymer content for all our packaging by 2025.

Help eliminate litter by increasing used packaging collection worldwide through our advocacy efforts.

Partner with industry and stakeholders to strive for recycling at scale for all our packaging in all our priority markets.

Carton recycling

All our cartons are designed to be recyclable and there is a well-established market for the strong recycled fibers recovered from them. The polymer and aluminum can also be recycled either together or separately.

At the recycling plant, cartons are fed into a giant mixer to separate the paper fibers from the aluminum and polymers. The extracted fibers are then washed and screened ready for use in paper making. The high-quality paper fibers recovered from the cartons are fed into a paper mill to create new paper and board products. The polymers and aluminum extracted from cartons (PolyAl) can be separated to create new plastic and aluminum products, or recycled together to produce a robust composite material. Where suitable recycling facilities are not yet available, the polymers or PolyAl can be used as a source of energy to replace the need for virgin fossil fuels.

PolyAl recycling

We are exploring and investing in recycling technology and improving availability of recycling infrastructure to process PolyAl into polymers and aluminum.


SIG is a major investor in the Palurec facility in Germany, designed to recover polymers and aluminum from PolyAl and turn them into marketable recycled materials. In Brazil, we are constructing a new recycling plant for beverage cartons that will use innovative technology to separate the polyethylene from the aluminum in PolyAl to create a wider market and demand for these recycled materials, increasing their value by more than 50%.

Bag-in-box and spouted pouch recycling

For our bag-in-box and pouch packaging substrates we pioneered technology solutions to manufacture pouches from mainly a single type of polymer to lead the industry in recycle-ready solutions that enable recycling without the need for chemical separation.


Depending on the size of the bag-in-box solution, the overall share of wood fiber-based material - the corrugated board of the ‘box’ – is between approx. 75% and more than 90% (although SIG does not supply the ‘box’). The ‘box’ can easily be separated and recycled in the paper recycling stream.

We acknowledge that systems capable of recycling pouches and bag-in-box bags are at an early stage of development and that more work is needed to increase the percentage of packs that are technically recyclable, as well as the infrastructure for recycling. We are always seeking to make more of our range ‘recycle-ready’ and are actively working with partners on technical solutions for mechanical and chemical recycling. We were the first to introduce a bag-in-box recognized as fully recyclable by the US Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), and the world's first bag-in-box linked to recycled content.

Partnering to foster collection and recycling

Recycling rates, regulations and infrastructure for collection and recycling of packaging can vary widely in different regions. That’s why we manage this issue at a local level and in partnership with other stakeholders – either directly or through industry organizations.


We aim to enhance the rate of packs that are recycled overall in each region by strengthening programs for collecting and segregating household waste for recycling and raising awareness of the need to recycle.


Our goal is to partner with stakeholders to implement dedicated and country-specific roadmaps to support increased collection and recycling of beverage cartons, bag-in-box and spouted pouches in priority countries where more than 90% of our packs are sold.

Industry partnerships

We advocate and drive initiatives to increase collection and recycling of used beverage cartons through industry partnerships, including:

  • ACE – The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment
  • GRACE - The Global Recycling Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment
  • The Consumer Goods Forum's Coalition of Action on Plastic Waste
  • 4evergreen
  • CEFLEX – a circular economy for flexible packaging
  • The Alliance to End Plastic Waste
  • European Bioplastics association
  • EUROPEN - European Organisation for Plastics and the Environment
Read more in our Annual Report

Recycle for Good

The SIG Foundation supports our ambitions through targeted charitable projects and partnerships that strengthen civil society and create positive impacts for the environment. Recycle for Good is the Foundation’s community recycling program that aims to bring recyclable materials back into circulation.


The Recycle for Good projects around the world offer wider societal benefits including verifying ethical working conditions for waste collectors, and some use technology to enable full traceability to show the volumes of materials recycled.

Recycle for Good

Ethical implications of recycling

It is extremely important to consider the social impact of recycling systems, particularly in countries where waste pickers make a living by performing waste collection and recycling activities. SIG is 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.

Spotlight on


SIG invests in the Cidade+Recicleiros program to enable cities, companies, and communities in Brazil to establish effective municipal systems to collect and separate consumer waste and ensure decent working conditions for waste pickers. This pioneering model has now been adopted by the Brazilian government as federal public policy.

so+ma vantagens

SIG’s so+ma vantagens program in Brazil, 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 SIG Foundation’s Recycle for Good program has replicated this community recycling model in Indonesia and plans to extend to further countries.

Boosting recycling in Egypt

Partnering with the German Development Cooperation through GIZ to boost recycling and livelihoods in Egypt, we have launched a three-year public–private partnership with Plastic Bank to create an effective system for collecting and recycling used beverage cartons in Egypt – and improve working conditions for informal waste collectors.