Hovering over the recycling bin trying to work out whether an orange juice carton is recycled by your local council or not could become a thing of the past with the opening of the UK’s first beverage carton recycling plant.

The plant, near Halifax, will open early next year. It is expected to lead to a dramatic increase in the number of local councils offering kerbside collections for beverage cartons.

Waste cartons are currently sent to Sweden, Spain or Italy for processing, meaning some authorities have omitted them from their collections.

In 2006, just 4% of local authorities offered kerbside collections for cartons. This figure now stands at 43%.

The Alliance for Beverage Cartons & the environment (ACE) UK has signed an agreement with paper and packaging producer Sonoco Alcore, which will be able to recycle 25,000 tonnes of beverage cartons into paperboard tubes a year at the plant.

Local authorities could save an average of 41,378 road miles or 178 tonnes of C02 if they sent their cartons to Halifax rather than Italy, said ACE UK CEO Richard Hands.

“We are confident that by the end of December 2013 a further 10 local authorities will have started collecting cartons in their kerbside service, sending them to the new mill,” he added.