Juice pouches are just about everywhere that you look now. This is because they are cheap to produce for manufacturers. They are also cheap to ship around.
Juice pouches are not recyclable. They’re made up of two recyclable materials but the plastic and metal foil that makes them up is too closely bonded to be recycled easily. In the end, you’re most likely going to have to throw them in the trash, which is a shame.
The problem is that they are not all that great for the environment. This is because they cannot be recycled. Let’s take a look at this in a bit more depth, shall we?
It is a shame because juice pouches should be recyclable. Well, at least some of it should be.
Most juice pouches are made up of layered plastics and metal (normally aluminum). The problem is that when these materials are joined up in the way that they are in juice pouches, they become impossible to recycle.
As you may probably know, when we recycle products, we tend to recycle one material at a time. Yes, there are techniques that can separate materials from one another, but these recycling techniques only work on materials that haven’t been closely bound.
This ensures that there is a viable way to separate them. You do not get this with juice pouches. Due to the layered materials on the pouch, and how thin it all is, it isn’t viable to separate the metals from the plastics. It is far too costly to do, particularly since juice pouches will likely form just a fraction of the recycling.
If you take old juice pouches to a recycling center, then we can virtually guarantee that you will be turned away with them. Although, there are some recycling centers that will send them to the landfill on your behalf.
That being said, you can recycle just the straw that came with the juice pouch if you want.
Juice Pouches are unlikely to be ever properly recyclable. This is because there probably isn’t enough drive in the recycling industry to try and come up with ideas for separating the metal from the plastics. If there was, we can’t imagine that the idea would be all that cost-effective.
Perhaps the only thing that we, as a consumer, can do is try to reduce the demand on the industry for juice pouches. If people are buying fewer products with juice pouches, or try to pressure manufacturers in some way, then they will start to disappear. This means that there could be a huge reduction in pressure on the landfills.
There is one company, known as TerraCycle. You won’t be able to find them in your town or city. Instead, you will need to contact them and they will ship you a box or bag that you can use to send your old juice pouches to them.
Now, this company is about as close to recycling as you can get. You will send the products to them, and they will grind them up into small chunks before making new items with them. The only real problem is that their process isn’t true recycling.
It won’t be used to reduce the demand in the industry for plastics or aluminum. All of that will still need to be produced for new juice pouches. However, what it will do is help to prevent juice boxes from ending up in a landfill, and that is always a good thing, right?
TerraCycle is one company that will take them if you want to send them off to be recycled. If you are going to be sending products to TerraCycle (they accept more than just juice pouches), then make sure that everything is completely cleaned before you ship it off to them. It makes their job a little bit easier.
Ideally, you would skip purchasing juice pouches altogether. Instead, pick up a reusable bottle. There will be options for children too. it is going to be a lot better for the environment like that. It may even end up being a little bit cheaper than actually purchasing juice pouches too!
You have little choice but to add old juice pouches to the trash. Since you can’t recycle them, then they will have to go in with your normal garbage.
As we said, this is a shame because we are putting quality, recyclable materials into the ground. They are going to be taking up space in a landfill. And, since landfill space is at a premium right now, this is not a good thing.
That being said, the main issue isn’t so much the filling up of landfills. It is what happens once the juice pouches are in a landfill. Over the course of many years, the plastic in the juice pouch will start to break down. This will leak chemicals into the surrounding environment. This can cause the destruction of animal habits and the poisoning of water supplies. Sure, one juice pouch probably isn’t going to have that much of an effect on the environment, but think about how many juice pouches are sold each week in the United States. Imagine all of those being added to a landfill. The problem very quickly becomes quite serious!
We know that this is something that should go without saying for many of you. However, if you are planning to add juice pouches to your trash, then make sure that they are in a well-sealed bag. This is because the juice is quite sweet. Some of that juice is going to stick around the pouch and this will attract animals. This could lead to two things happening:
- The animals bite into the pouch, choking on plastic.
- They spread your litter around the area.
Ideally, you would wash the juice pouches a little bit before you add the juice pouch to the trash.
Juice pouches cannot be recycled due to the way in which they have been constructed. If you want to dispose of old juice pouches, then you have little choice but to throw it in the trash. In the future, try to avoid using juice pouches as much as you possibly can.