Press Release /

Carton Council Rewards Communities for Proactive Recycling Education

DENTON, Texas – The Carton Council of North America is proud to announce the results of their first Community Education Award. Launched in 2021, the program strives to foster improved resident communications surrounding recycling, with special focus on food and beverage cartons.

“Food and beverage cartons are accepted in more than 60% of local recycling programs yet there often remains confusion over whether they are recyclable,” said Carla Fantoni vice president of engagement strategy for the Carton Council and vice president of communications operations for Tetra Pak. “We designed this program to motivate communities with their education while at the same time, providing them with tools and information to be sure cartons are included in their efforts.”

Last year, communities signed up to participate. Participants received ongoing information to help support their communications and marketing efforts throughout the year. They were also invited to monthly webinars, led by communications experts which included information on school recycling, website and social media best practices and effective recycling messaging.

Although the program focused on food and beverage cartons, the Carton Council recognizes the importance of education to promote recycling for all materials. Besides showing that their websites accurately and clearly define carton recycling, participants also needed to provide at least two other examples of communications and/or marketing activities conducted during the year that promote recycling while also including cartons. The following communities participated and successfully submitted their results, earning them grants of $2,000 each to help with future education efforts.

  • Keep Argyle Beautiful, TX
  • Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, Cincinnati, OH
  • Ray’s Trash Service, Clayton, IN
  • Dig Together, TX
  • Fayetteville, NC
  • Fillmore County, MN
  • High Country Conservation Center, CO
  • City of Lexington Recycling & Waste Collection, NC
  • Lincoln County Solid Waste, NC
  • City of Locust, NC
  • City of Peoria, Arizona
  • Borough of Maywood, NJ
  • Mecklenburg County, NC
  • City of Middletown, CT
  • City of Natchez, MS
  • Oak Island, NC
  • Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County, MI
  • Wake County Solid Waste Management Division, NC
  • Will County, IL
  • Wilton Go Green, CT

“Research shows that consumers first look to their community website for information about recycling,” said Fantoni. “This tells us that keeping local websites updated and making information about what can and can’t be recycled, easy to find is crucial. We also recognize that communities are often understaffed and under resourced and wanted to help support their efforts.”


The Carton Council is composed of four leading carton manufacturers, Elopak, PactivEvergreen, SIG Combibloc, and Tetra Pak. Formed in 2009, the Carton Council works to deliver long-term collaborative solutions in order to divert valuable cartons from the landfill. Through a united effort, the Carton Council is committed to building a sustainable infrastructure for carton recycling nationwide and works toward their continual goal of adding access to carton recycling throughout the U.S. For more information, visit


Food and beverage cartons are highly recyclable materials that come in two kinds: refrigerated cartons that store, milk, juice and egg substitutes; and shelf-stable cartons that are packaged for broths, milks, juices, soups and even wine. When sorted by themselves at materials recovery facilities (MRFs), cartons are a valuable material in high demand. Made mostly from paper, a renewable resource, cartons have become popular containers for food and beverage products as they are lightweight and compact, with a low carbon footprint. When recycled, they are used to make office and writing paper, tissues, paper towels, and even sustainable building and construction materials.