Carton packaging which cannot be recycled for technical or cleanliness reasons no longer needs to be sent to landfill, following an innovative Pro Carton/Biffaward-sponsored initiative.

Pro Carton, the Association for European Cartonboard and Carton Manufacturers and Biffaward, has teamed up with rural land consultancy ADAS and the National Forest Company in a project which has shown that, when mixed with a nitrogen-containing biodegradable material like processed sewage sludge, cartonboard can be turned into an odourless, fine light brown compost.

ADAS has developed a method for producing the carton compost, which was spread on a test site in the National Forest in Derbyshire. Saplings were then planted planted in it, thus completing the sustainable loop.

Pro Carton hopes local councils and waste disposal authorities will soon regard the new compost as an important element of packaging waste management.